Under the Old Covenant, the priests were forbidden from wearing wool while in the inner court because they were not to wear any material that would cause them to sweat in their service to God (Ezekiel 44:17-18).
God, from the very beginning, was showing us that it was not about human effort nor about what we could do for Him but that it was all about what He would do for us.
When Jesus arrives on the scene, He comes not only as our Great High Priest (Heb. 4:14) but also as the Lamb to be offered in sacrifice (John 1:30).
Therefore, Christ is the only priest who was ever qualified to wear wool – as the Lamb of God – in His priestly work to God! Interestingly enough, while in Gethsemane and preparing Himself for sacrifice, Christ first sheds His blood through His pores, and it mingles together with His sweat!
Jesus’ sweat saves us – not ours
What does this mean? It means that it is only the sweat and work of Christ that can save us. God never desired the sweat of man nor the efforts of flesh. It is Christ’s work and sweat alone that brought salvation to the human race!
- He sweat it out in your place so that you could rest in His place
- He stood so that you could sit
- He strained so that you could Sabbath
My friends, if your flesh is sweaty, you are wearing the wrong garment! You are not the Lamb of God and are therefore not allowed to wear wool, or sweat in the presence of God. Christ alone filled this role, and He did it perfectly and completely!
It is not Monday morning but an eternal Saturday morning.
Also, a chair was a forbidden piece of furniture in the temple. Why? The priests were not allowed to sit down on the job so that the image of unfinished business would be imprinted on people’s conscience.
Day after day every priest had to stand and perform his religious duties. Again and again he would need to offer the same sacrifices because the blood of animals can never take away sins!
Jesus the High Priest, however, offered one final sacrifice for the sins of the whole world and sat down at the right hand of God (Heb. 10:11-12, 1 John 2:2). There’s no more blood-shedding or work to be done because, once for all, He dealt with the sin-issue on the cross.
It is finished!
You are seated on a throne
And God raised you up together and seated you together in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus (Eph. 2:6).
You are a New Covenant priest (Rev. 1:6) who’s been placed on a throne and sit at the right hand of the Father. Right now. You don’t stand before God – you’re seated with Him. You’ve arrived. No longer sweating to try to get closer to God, but rather enjoying the uninterrupted union with Him.
No more performing religious duties to please God. There’s nothing left to do, except to rest in the fact that you are plunged into the finished work of Christ and that you are well-pleasing to God without any effort on your part.
Wipe the sweat from your brow, and enjoy your royal seat. The work is done, and you’re off the clock. Your sweat didn’t save you, Jesus sweat did.
Just as you weren’t saved by your efforts of the flesh, so you can’t maintain your salvation by your sweating, striving, pulling or pushing.
Your Christian walk is not about trying to maintain salvation but being maintained by Salvation.
The only sweat that counts is that which fell from the face of the blameless Son.
Rest in His work and in His work alone.
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(Part of the text originates from Jeff Turner)