“Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age. Also, he made him a tunic of many colours” (Genesis 37:3).
For more than 320 years, one company has had the distinction of being the tailors and robe makers for twelve British coronations. Ede & Ravenscroft is the oldest firm of tailors in London, and some believe the oldest in the world. Founded in 1689, the exquisite work of its tailors won them the honour of creating robes for the coronation of Their Majesties William and Mary.
Today Ede & Ravenscroft are appointed robe makers and tailors to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and robe makers for both His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh and His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales. Guidelines for coronation dress date back to an illustrated manuscript from 1382, called the Liber Regalis (Latin for “Royal Book”).
When Israel (formerly Jacob) gave his favoured son a robe of many colours, it was more than a birthday present. The distinguished tunic probably had long sleeves and reached the ankles, giving it a touch of royalty. The gift created envy in the hearts of his brothers. Joseph was the firstborn of Rachel, but not the eldest child. The brothers probably wondered if their father would give this younger brother the birthright intended for Leah’s oldest son.
In truth, we are all the favoured children of Israel. But sin stripped us of honour. Nothing can cover the nakedness of our empty lives except the robe of Christ’s righteousness. No earthly tailor can fashion a royal garment to hide the ugly marks of our own rebellious hearts. Only the pure life of Jesus, represented by a perfect robe fashioned in heaven, can be draped around us, marking us as children of the heavenly King.
God’s own royal Book, the Bible, explains, “I counsel you to buy from Me … white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed” (Revelation 3:18). Fortunately, the price was already paid by the blood of Christ.
Lord, I accept Your free gift of salvation and the pure robe of Your salvation wrapped around my life.
For Further Study: Genesis 37:1–4; John 19:23, 34; Revelation 7:9