You probably wouldn’t have chosen the last one, but the Bible says that was the idea behind the garments worn by the High Priest. He had an ornate robe. He wore a special tunic. He had a breastplate encrusted with precious stones. Like the other priests, he wore a turban, but his had a gold plate on the front with words proclaiming the holiness of his office.
There was only one High Priest at a time, according to the Law. And these special clothes were meant to impress others, reflecting his special standing among the people.
But there was one time a year when he dressed differently. One day a year he put on simple clothes, like a servant. That was when he was going into God’s presence, the place known as the Most Holy Place.
It was the Day of Atonement when the High Priest offered sacrifices for his sins and those of his people. On that day, he would humble himself. He would get rid of the “glory and beauty.” He would dress himself with simple linen clothing, more in line with a servant than the High Priest. These were special clothes, used only for this occasion, but they were very plain.
Christians no longer have to have someone go into God’s presence for us. The New Testament tells us:
Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water (Hebrews 10:19-22).
What the High Priest used to do once a year, Christians can now do on a regular basis: enter the Most Holy Place. We can go into God’s presence.
But one thing hasn’t changed. Coming before God still requires that we take off our aspirations of “glory and beauty.” We don’t show off for God. We don’t try to impress him with who we are or what we’ve done. The Bible says “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up” (James 4:10). It also tells us: “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble” (1 Peter 5:5).