Colors are a significant part of the human environment. They make our world beautiful and have been used as symbols. Christians observe colors used in the Bible and use them in their religious attires. One such color is purple which many believe was the color of the robe Jesus wore before the crucifixion. But did Jesus wear purple?
Scholars like Dr. Joseph R. Nally, Jr. suggest that Jesus wore a robe of purple and scarlet shades. He argues that in Mathew 27:28, the Bible suggests that the robe was scarlet, while in Mark 15:17 and John 19:2, the Bible says that the robe was purple. Most Christian religions believe that the robe was purple because, except for Matthew, all the other verses say that the robe was purple.
In this article, we will find out the color of the robe that Jesus wore, the significance of the color of the robe that Jesus was made to wear, and the color of the robe that Jesus wore when he died. We will also find out why Matthew and Mark talk about the different colors of the robe that Jesus wore. Finally, we will discuss why the color purple is associated with Easter and the spiritual meaning of the color purple.
What color did Jesus wear?
The Bible suggests that Jesus wore a purple robe. Since there are four gospels, there are several accounts of the color of the robe that Jesus was made to wear. For instance, Mark records that: And they clothed Him with purple, and they twisted a crown of thorns, put it on His head, Mark 15:17. The verse indicates the color of the robe was purple. According to John, the gospel records that the robe’s color was purple. It says that: So, then Pilate took Jesus and scourged Him. And the soldiers twisted a crown of thorns and put it on His head, and they put on Him a purple robe. John 19:1-2. Luke did not record this account; hence, according to the three gospels, only the account is available. Since there are two gospels with the same account about the purple robe, most people believe that the robe was purple.
What is the significance of the color purple in the robe that Jesus was made to wear?
The purple color represented authority and was worn by kings as a symbol of power and authority in the roman empire. Ken Graham, a bible scholar and historian says that in the ancient Roman empire, purple represented triumph and was worn by emperors. Jesus was made to wear the robe to mock him. They called him the king of the Jews, and since the kings wore purple robes, he was made to wear them. He was also made to wear a crown of thorns to complete his kingly attire. Although they mocked him, they did not realize that Jesus was not a mere king, but he was the king of kings. His authority was not limited to this world as that of the earthly kings.
In the Bible, the color purple was prestigious because it was challenging to mix the dyes to generate it. As such, it was rare and was a reserve for royal or noble births. According to the Bible study Organization, purple represented high officials, Majesty, and royalty. It is mentioned in Esther 8:15 and Judges 8:26. In Ezekiel 27:7 and Exodus 28:5, the color represents luxury, wealth, and prosperity. Therefore, it was an indication of what Jesus represented: that is triumph, authority, and prosperity.
What was the color of Jesus’ robe when he died?
Jesus did not have a robe when he died. However, he had a robe just before he died, but its color was not mentioned. The Bible says that: Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took His garments and made four parts, to each soldier a part, and also the tunic. Now the tunic was without seam, woven from the top in one piece. John 19:23. So, the color of Jesus’s robe was not mentioned. We, however, know that it was gorgeous and seamless, and soldiers had to cast lots to decide who should have it.
Why do Matthew and Mark talk about different colors of the robe Jesus was made to wear?
Eric Lyons, M.Min., says that Matthew and Mark may have talked about different colors because it was impossible to distinguish between them, significantly if the cloth was faded. He argues that the pirate would not have allowed Jesus to wear one of his new robes. He was therefore made to wear one of his worn-out and faded purple robes. Due to fading, the color of the robe may have changed slightly from purple and almost became scarlet. Therefore, Matthew may have seen the faded purple robe as scarlet.
Another possibility is that there were many shades of purple, some of which almost resembled scarlet. A.T. Robertson says there were many shades of purple in the first century. Some of the purple shades were almost like scarlet, and one would struggle to identify a purple shade from a scarlet one. as such, the robe that Jesus was made to wear may have been one of those challenging to distinguish. Therefore, Matthew identified it as scarlet, while the others identified it as purple.
Why Is the Color Purple Associated with Easter?
Jean Wise says that purple is associated with repentance, mourning, suffering, and pain, all of which are remembered at Easter. Although Christians celebrate the death of Jesus because it marks the forgiveness of their sins and their salvation, they cannot forget that the death of Jesu was full of pain and suffering. Additionally, Easter is a time of expressing humility. Purple represents humility and matches the season, and sets the mood.
What is the spiritual meaning of the color purple?
There are several spiritual meanings for the color purple. As noted earlier, the color in the Bible represents nobility, luxury, wealth, and prosperity. Dougall Fraser suggests that the color represents destiny. When you perceive or are drawn to purple, it is a spiritual sign that you are being drawn to your destiny.
As a devout Christian, I have always been passionate about the Christian faith. This inspired me to pursue a degree in Religious studies and a Masters in Theology in college. I have also been privileged to teach 4 Christian courses in a college and university. Since I am dedicated to spreading the word of God, I am actively involved in the Church. Additionally, I share his word online and cover diverse topics on the Christian faith through my platform. You can read more about me on the about us page.