The High Priestly Ministry of Jesus
And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle.
— Revelation 1:13
When John received his vision of the exalted Christ while imprisoned on the island of Patmos, the elderly apostle took note of several prominent features of Jesus’ appearance. One such feature was His garment. In Revelation 1:13, he wrote that Christ was “…clothed with a garment down to the foot….” Today we will take a careful look at this phrase and see what it tells us about the Person of Jesus and why it matters to you as a child of God.
The word “clothed” is derived from the Greek word enduo, a term that referred to one who is dressed in a garment. But it must be noted that the Greek tense used in Revelation 1:13 implies that this particular garment was conferred upon Christ once and for all. He was given this garment by the Father and will be thus clothed forevermore. The Greek tense literally means Jesus was clothed; He is clothed; and He will always be clothed with this particular garment that reaches “down to the foot.”
The phrase “down to the foot” is a translation of poderes, a Greek word used only this one time in the entire New Testament. It describes a robe that flows all the way down to the ankles but leaves the feet exposed. The word poderes is also used seven times in the Old Testament Greek Septuagint to describe the attire of the high priest.
Perhaps the best example of this word poderes is found in Exodus 28, where God told Moses how to make “holy garments” for Aaron and his sons, who would serve as priests. The priestly garment was to be made
of gold, blue, purple, and scarlet thread and fine woven linen. It was to reach down to the ankles, exactly like the robe Christ was wearing in John’s vision. For this reason, one symbolic meaning of the garment Jesus wore in John’s vision was to portray Him in His role as our Great High Priest!
- Hebrews 3:1 (NKJV) declares that Jesus is the “High Priest of our confession.”
- Hebrews 4:15,16 describes Jesus Christ as the High Priest who can be touched with the feelings of our infirmities, a truth that has been a comfort to believers throughout the centuries. In these verses, God calls each of us to come boldly before the throne of grace to obtain mercy and to find help in our time of need from Jesus, our High Priest.
- Hebrews 5:5,6 reveals that the office of High Priest was conferred upon Jesus and that His priesthood will remain “forever” after the order of Melchisedec.
- Hebrews 7:24 states that Jesus’ role as our Great High Priest is “unchangeable.”
The ministry of Jesus Christ as our High Priest is one of the most important themes of the New Testament. Jesus was clothed with priestly garments; He is clothed with priestly garments; and He will always be clothed with priestly garments — because He is forever the High Priest of our confession.
The way Jesus was clothed when He appeared to John sent an extremely important message to the apostle and to the Church at large. John was about to receive Jesus’ messages for the seven churches in the Roman province of Asia, some of which would contain correction and stern yet loving rebukes from Christ in response to wrong beliefs and behaviors that were emerging in these congregations. However, by appearing to John as High Priest, Jesus’ intercessory ministry was the prominent feature the apostle noticed before anything else. It proclaimed that Jesus was the Great High Priest who was praying for the churches.
We saw in the September 6 Sparkling Gem that Jesus revealed Himself in Revelation 1:5 first and foremost as the Prince and Supreme Sovereign of the kings of the earth. But in Revelation 1:13, He appeared as High Priest, thus affirming that He was standing in His priestly role, interceding for the churches He was about to discipline and correct. Before He appeared with feet of bronze, representing judgment, He appeared as the Great High Priest who was praying for them — that they might repent before He needed to apply His feet of judgment.
But John’s description of Jesus’ “garment down to the foot” also portrayed the intercessory ministry of Jesus, which will never change. This is an office that was once and for all conferred upon Christ and is unchangeable. Jesus was, is, and will always be interceding on behalf of the Church that He purchased with His own blood.
Hebrews 7:25 declares that Jesus lives to make intercession for us. Dressed in His high priestly garments, He sits in the holy presence of the Father and intercedes on our behalf.
That means Jesus is praying and interceding for you right now. So what is stopping you from coming to Him today with the needs and desires that are on your heart? Jesus was, is, and forever will be your Great High Priest. He is waiting for you to come boldly into His presence to present your needs and desires!
MY PRAYER FOR TODAY
Father, I thank You that Jesus is in Your Presence as my Great High Priest, where He ever lives to make intercession for me and for those who belong to Him. I thank You that I have no need to be ashamed or embarrassed when I come to You through Him, because He has thrown open the door and invited me to come boldly to the throne of grace to receive help and assistance in my time of need. I am so thankful for this high priestly ministry of Jesus — that He was, is, and forever will be my Great High Priest!
I pray this in Jesus’ name!
MY CONFESSION FOR TODAY
I declare that Jesus is my Great High Priest. Seated at the right hand of the Father, He lives to make intercession for me. Jesus, my High Priest, is touched with the feeling of my infirmity. I have no need to be ashamed or embarrassed when I come before the Father through Him, because He has given me unrestricted access and invited me to come boldly to the throne of grace to obtain help in my time of need.
I declare this by faith in Jesus’ name!
QUESTIONS FOR YOU TO CONSIDER
- What needs and desires should you boldly present to Jesus at the throne of grace? He is waiting for you — so what is stopping you from coming to Him with those needs and desires?
- Can you imagine Jesus dressed in high priestly garments in the presence of the Father, where He ever lives to make intercession for those who come to Him by faith? Why don’t you put everything on pause for a moment and try to mentally picture the image of Jesus in this capacity, waiting for you to come to Him?
- What does it mean to you when the Bible says we can “come boldly” to the throne of grace? What does the word “boldly” communicate to you?