Then the high priest rent his clothes, saying, He hath spoken blasphemy; what further need have we of witnesses? behold, now ye have heard his blasphemy.
Matthew 26:65 (KJV)
Rent his clothes – Caiaphas, the high priest, was so furious that he rent, or tore, his clothing. What’s the big deal? Why does the story tell us that he ripped his own clothing? Because this is the defining moment.
As with most of the New Testament, for us to understand, we need to first understand the law.
According to Leviticus, the high priest is forbidden from tearing his clothing.
And he that is the high priest among his brethren, upon whose head the anointing oil was poured, and that is consecrated to put on the garments, shall not uncover his head, nor rend his clothes; (Leviticus 21:10)
If a high priest does this, he is removed from office. He can no longer perform the duty of a high priest.
I know it’s a bit technical, but nonetheless, amazing! How can Yeshua take on the role of a high priest if there was already a high priest in office? For Him to become our high priest, the current high priest would have to be removed. Caiaphas rent his clothing, and forfeited the high priest position. The position had an opening, and Yeshua took it, rightfully and lawfully.
As can be seen, the law of God opens so much of the New Testament in ways that would otherwise be lost to our understanding.
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever. (Psalm 111:10)
Do you want a deeper understanding of God’s Word? Than start keeping more of the commandments.