“When the priests enter them, they shall not go out of the holy chamber into the outer court; but there they shall leave their garments in which they minister, for they are holy. They shall put on other garments; then they may approach that which is for the people.”
For the priest to be involved in ministery, there must be a change of apparel. What was appropriate for some things, was not appropriate for others. This imagery is continued throughout Scripture.
Jesus told a parable where a man had a lavish feast and all who attended were given garments specifically designed for the feast. One man was found in the banquet room who was not appropriately dressed and he was removed (Matthew 22:11-13). The story illustrates that none of us will access heaven through our own accomplishments, but must be clothed in the righteousness of Christ. Zechariah painted the same picture when he described Joshua the high priest standing before the Lord in filthy garments only to have the Angel of the Lord remove those garments and clothe him in new ones Zachariah 3:3-4).
Paul also spoke of proper garments. When he wrote to the Ephesian church, which was made up of those who had received Christ and been clothed in His righteousness, he stated that certain behaviors needed to be set aside like a worn out garment if we are going to live a life pleasing to the Lord (Ephesians 4:22-24). This is illustrated in the Lazarus miracle. As soon as Lazarus came back to life and out of the tomb, Jesus commanded that they take off his burial clothes (John 11:44). The clothes appropriate for a dead man are not appropriate for the living. As believers, many of our behaviors need to be laid down because they no longer fit.
Finally, after His resurrection, Jesus told the twelve to wait in Jerusalem until the Holy Spirit came upon them and they were clothed with the power of God (Acts 1:4). This power was designed to transform them and to equip them for ministry. This power is illustrated in Peter who had denied Christ in the courtyard, only to boldly stand for Him in the temple courts. Certainly all of us need a fresh filling of the Spirit of God as we walk out our doors this morning.