There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple … - Luke 16:19
Then came Jesus forth, wearing the crown of thorns, and the purple robe. And Pilate saith unto them, Behold the man! – John 19:5
When I see purple I think of Lydia who, in the book of Acts, was known as the dealer of purple.
Purple was a precious commodity, the garment of royalty, the symbol of wealth.
Purple is a featured color in the Lenten season as we meditate on the road to the cross that Jesus trod.
It is also an element of two of Jesus’ teachings, one that he spoke and another that he lived. One was a parable and the other was a reality.
Jesus spoke of a rich man, clothed in purple, who died and discovered that all he had valued and cherished in life was worthless in light of a Godless eternity. This man begged for a drop of water and someone to warn his brothers. He was simply called, “a certain rich man.”
Later, Jesus would also ask for a sip of water, from the cross. Just prior to that pivotal event in salvation history, Jesus was paraded before Pilate clothed in purple. The soldiers were mocking His message of a spiritual kingdom that transcended all human kingdoms.
Jesus wore the purple unwillingly on His willing path to bear the shame of the world for our salvation. The rich man wore it with a prideful heart proclaiming his superiority and gaining nothing. One exalted himself and was humbled. Jesus humbled Himself and was exalted.
And both wore purple.