What Does The Purple Robe On The Cross Mean?

The significance of the purple robe on the cross has been a source of debate for most people – mostly Christians, for centuries. They have chosen to believe many things but to clear the doubt and curiosity of many other Christians, I’ve decided to provide an answer to the question in this blog post. So, let’s get right into the details.

What Does The Purple Robe On The Cross Mean? There are so many theories as to what the purple cloak on the cross means. And they are as follows:

  • To exemplify the bruising and hardship of Christ.
  • An emblem of kingship.
  • The rejoicing of existence over dying.
  • Exemplifies repentance. 

To exemplify the bruising and hardship of christ

Talking about the story of Jesus Christ, the Pharisees chose not to believe when he said he was the commander of all. Rather they decided to crucify him – although this happened so the message of God would be brought to fulfillment. When Jesus was arrested, he was tortured iconically by receiving 39 strokes which resulted in stripes on his body. 

Then, the soldiers positioned a purple or scarlet cloak on him and a crown of thorns – ridiculing him and saying “All hail the sovereign of the Jews”.

And Jesus was crucified alongside two thieves in a place called Golgotha. So, the purple cloak you often see on the cross is to remind us of all the hardships, mocking, and stripes of Jesus he bore just for us.

An emblem of kingship

Kingship also means royalty, supremacy, and wealth. According to the bible, purple garments were correlated with the monarch and the rich people – as confirmed in Esther 8:15. So, the purple linen on the cross was to signify that Jesus is the sovereign of not just the Jews, but also all other commanders. 

That is why during palm Sunday, the purple cape is placed on the cross to remind us of the passage in the bible where Jesus arrived at Jerusalem as a king riding a donkey – Mark 11:6-9.

The rejoicing of existence over dying

The purple cape on the cross also exemplifies the celebration of existence over dying. In other words, the rejoicing of Christ’s resurrection. 

Way before Jesus was crucified, he gave hints about his demise and revival in areas like the temple – when he drove those selling and buying in John 2:13-22, and also when he was talking to his disciples and the Pharisees. 

Then, Jesus was crucified, and concealed in a new grave closer to Golgotha, and he revived on the third day after conquering death. This is exactly the reason why Easter is being commemorated, and what the purple cloak means on the cross. 

Exemplifies repentance

Finally, the purple cloak on the cross exemplifies repentance. Jesus preached repentance, alongside humility, faithfulness, and many more when he was on earth. 

And his blood that was shed on the cross was for the remission of our sins. So, the purple coat on the cross is to remind us of the blood of Christ that was shed for our guilt to be forgiven. 

What does purple mean in the bible?

Purple means a whole lot in the bible, and they are fortune, royalty, priesthood, kingship, and judge. In the largest cases in the bible, purple is correlated with the emperor and is found mostly in the book of exodus. 

Purple linen was extensively utilized in the tabernacle conveying God’s sovereignty, fortune, and kingship over all. In some areas in the bible, purple was quoted as scarlet- as confirmed in Matthew, when it was positioned on Jesus by the soldiers before his crucifixion. 

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Is the color of the robe placed on Jesus scarlet or purple?

The color of the cloak placed on Jesus could have been either of the two shades – scarlet or purple. Since it is associated with Christ, we can’t give answers based on our instincts.

Rather we provide answers based on what was said in the bible. For example, in Mark 15:17 and John 19:2, it was indicated that it was a purple robe that was placed on Jesus. 

While in Matthew 27 verses 28, it was said to be scarlet. And Luke 23 verses 11 said it was a gorgeous robe. We can’t say they were not sure because according to Roberson, he said there are different shades of the two colors – purple and scarlet, so it was quite difficult to have been able to differentiate the hue. 

So, each writer described the color of the robe based on what it looked like to them. In other words, it could have been scarlet or purple. If you are asking this question for a bible quiz, you can say either of the two shades, but ensure you back your answer with a bible verse. 

Where did Jesus get his purple robe?

According to the passages in the bible, the purple cloak that was seen on Jesus was gotten by the soldiers. Why? To Make jest of him because they thought he was blasphemous about being the rule of all Kings and Jews. 

Looking at the story of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, there is obviously no way he could have gotten the purple robe placed on himself when he was being rough handled by the soldiers. So, the soldiers chose to do as they pleased when the pilate handed him over to them. 


What is the significance of the cross?

The Cross embodies a lot of things which I will share with you in this part. Here are what the cross exemplifies:

  • Intentional meekness.
  • Individual relationship.
  • Love of God.
  • Crucifixion.

Intentional meekness 

The Cross signified the intentional humbleness of Jesus, and in obedience, he died on the cross. Though it was said by God that Christ would come to the world to die for our sins, Jesus could have refused to die for humanity when he came on earth only to be mistreated by those he would die for.

But regardless of all the ridicule, mockery, and pain, Jesus willingly died on the cross in obedience to his father’s word – just for us to be saved. 

Individual relationship 

Looking at other religious practices, the worshippers are always striving to meet their god. But in Christianity, it is totally different. God came down in human form – Jesus, so he could have the relationship he has always wanted with us since the generation of mankind. 

In response to his death on the cross, we should individually draw nearer to him to know him dearly. In other words, Jesus, who is God, perished on the cross in Golgotha, so he could have an individual relationship with you. 

Love of God

The Cross also signifies the passion of God. According to John 3 verses 16 “For God adored the world that he decided to offer us all his only child.

So that we will not wither and we can have endless existence.” It also said in Romans 5 verse 8 that “God indeed demonstrated to his enormous love by offering his only son to perish on the cross when we were all sinners.”

This implies that Christ perishing for us on the cross was to tell us that God adored us, still adores us, and will always love us. Jesus adored us while we were and are all sinners like in John 3 vs 17 which says “Jesus Christ didn’t come to criticize the world, but so we can be redeemed through him.” His death for us on the cross was undeserving, yet he always welcomed us. 


Finally, the cross signifies the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. From the book of Genesis to Revelation, the cross was mentioned. God chose to save mankind, so his initial reason for creating us which is – to have a good relationship with him, could be fulfilled. 

Then, he sent his son to the world who was tortured, mocked and abused to die on the cross for us, using his blood as our atonement. The stripes he received were to heal us completely from every disease and sickness that we may come across. All he went through was for our wholeness, including his resurrection on the third day was proof of our redemption. 

Why is purple a religious color?

Purple is a religious color because it is related to the authority of Jesus Christ. Purple was the shade of the cloak that was spotted on Jesus before his crucifixion.

Conclusion – What Does The Purple Robe On The Cross Mean?

Purple cloak on the cross embodies a lot of great things that include – the bruising and hardship of Christ, kingship, rejoicing of the revival of Christ, humility, and repentance. 

All of these meanings are to tell and remind us of the love of God for us by sending his Son to die on the cross, so we could renounce our relationship with God. 

Aside from answering what the purple robe on the cross meant, other popularly asked questions were also discussed for more knowledge. 

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