What do certain colors have in symbolic meaning in the Bible?
Red: the Blood of the Lamb
The absolute gospel is seen throughout the Bible in the color of red because of the Lamb of God’s blood shed for sinner. Red is the scarlet thread that is interwoven throughout the Bible, from Genesis to Revelation. Rahab who lived in the wall of Jericho was saved because of a red cord let down so that the Israelite army would spare her life. The lamb’s blood applied to the doors of the Israelites on the first Passover saved them by the “sprinkled the blood, so that the Destroyer of the firstborn might not touch them” (Heb 11:28), thus the meaning of Passover. And naturally, Jesus shed blood is what cleanses us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9, 2 Cor 5:21) and even at Calvary where “they stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him” (Matt 27:28).
White: the Color of Righteousness
The color of the righteousness of God comes at the expense of the red blood of Christ. The Psalmist knew that forgiveness comes only by what he writes, “Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow” (Psalm 51:7). The Apostle John writes about those slain for their faith “were each given a white robe and told to rest a little longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brothers should be complete, who were to be killed as they themselves had been” (Rev 6:11). John “saw them standing before the throne, and before the Lamb, arrayed in white robes. And one of the elders said unto me, Who are these clothed in white robes? and where did they come from? And I said unto him, My lord, you know. And he said unto me, These are they who come out of the great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and have made their robes white in the blood of the lamb” (Rev 7:13-4).
Blue: Symbolic of the Heavenly Realm
In Ezekiel’s vision of the glory of the Lamb of God, he wrote “And above the expanse over their heads there was the likeness of a throne, in appearance like sapphire; and seated above the likeness of a throne was a likeness with a human appearance” (Ezk 1:26) and sapphire is mostly blue in color. Blue will also be one of the dominant colors in the New Jerusalem that descends out of heaven.
Gold or Yellow: the Glory of God
Fire is primarily yellow in color and gold is the most precious of metals and has that same appearance. Jesus told the lukewarm church of Laodicea “to buy from me gold refined by fire, so that you may be rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself and the shame of your nakedness may not be seen, and salve to anoint your eyes, so that you may see” (Rev 3:18) which is why Peter wrote “that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (1 Pet 1:7). Of course God appeared to Moses in the burning bush but there are far too many references to include them all here.
Purple: the Color of Royalty
Even in the secular world, purple is known to be worn only by kings because extracting the color from a certain sea shell is very expensive and so only royalty or the very rich wore purple. So too Jesus paid the most supreme price anyone ever could to save us…His own life. On the tabernacle gate the “curtain of the Gate was made of “blue, purple, scarlet, and fine linen” (Ex 27:16) and purple garments were a large part of the collection taken for the temple’s construction material (Ex 25:4).
I cannot wait for the kingdom to come but we have work to do. We must confess our sins daily to stay in fellowship with God. We have had our sins forgiven (red of the blood), been declared righteous because He died for us (white of righteousness), we are now children of the King of heaven (blue for heaven’s reign over us), we are now being refined by trials becoming more like Him (gold or yellow of fire), so that at His appearing we can rule with Christ as kings and priests (purple of royalty) under the King of kings and Lord of lords.
May God richly bless you,
Pastor Jack Wellman
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