‘Then Pilate took Jesus and had Him flogged. The soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on His head. They clothed Him in a ‘purple robe’ and went up to Him again and again, saying, ‘Hail, King of the Jews!’ (Mark 15:17).
“Once more Pilate came out and said to the Jews gathered there, ‘Look, I am bringing Him out to you to let you know that I find no basis for a charge against Him.’ When Jesus came out wearing the crown of thorns and the ‘purple robe,’ Pilate said to them, ‘Here is the Man!’ As soon as the chief Priests and their officials saw Him, they shouted, ‘Crucify! Crucify!’”(John 19:1-6).
The earliest archaeological evidence for the origins of purple dyes points to the Minoan civilization in Crete, about 1900 B.C. The ancient land of Canaan (its corresponding Greek name was Phoenicia, which means ‘land of the purple’ was the centre of the ancient purple dye industry.
‘Tyrian Purple,’ also known as royal purple, imperial purple or imperial dye, is a purple-red dye, which is extracted from sea snails, and which was first produced by the ancient Phoenicians. This dye was greatly prized in antiquity because it did not fade; rather it became brighter and more intense with weathering and sunlight.
Modern research shows that various formulations of ‘Tyrian purple’ existed on a continuous spectrum within approximately the following range of colours.
Typically the purple dyed cloth was worn by Kings, High Priests, Emperors, Caesars, and other wealthy people of high rank. Elite members of the Imperial family in Byzantium were known as ‘porphyrogenitos’ which means, ‘born in the purple!’
In Biblical times, purple was only allowed to be worn by Royalty. If any other person used it, it was punishable by death.
Some people believe the ‘Great Whore’ in Revelations 17, is a symbol for the Roman Catholic Church.
‘And upon her forehead was a name written, ‘MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.’ (Revelations 17:5).
The Roman Catholic Church refers to itself as the ‘Mother Church,’ it is the prostitute!
The ‘Babylon Prostitute’ in Revelations 17 wears ‘purple and scarlet.’ Many leaders of the Roman Catholic Church wear purple and scarlet today, such as bishops and cardinals who perceive themselves to be Royalty and Holier than thou!
‘Purple’ then was the colour of Royalty. They put it on Jesus to mock Him as the King of the Jews. But the one who they mocked as king was the King of Kings! They knew Him not as King, but He was a King who became a beggar so that beggars like you and me could be Kings!
‘For you know the Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ that though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, so that you through His poverty might become rich.’(II Corinthians 8:9).
From mockery to VICTORY, the purple hues of Jesus’ robe assuredly are the ‘Colours of VICTORY!’ Halleluiah and Amen!