“And all who have been united with Christ in baptism have put on Christ, like putting on new clothes. ”—Galatians 3:27
Whether you are a fan of fashion or not, clothing is a particularly important part of our culture. Whereas much of the world would be happy with any clothing, we want only the newest and best branded. We are not the first generation who has endeavoured to improve our outward image. Rather, this effort stretches way back to the first two people to walk on earth. When Adam and Eve shattered their perfect image by sinning, the first thing they did was attempt to fix it by making leaf garments for themselves.
We were all dressed in the filthy rags of sin, stained by our wrong actions and we were ashamed of what we were wearing. Just like Nicodemus, no matter how hard we tried, the soap of self-improvement still left us feeling dirty, guilty and unacceptable before a holy God.
Imagine that each time we sinned, someone stuck a note on us saying, “lied at 2 pm,” followed by “envy at 3 pm” and so on. Each one of us would be ashamed to go out in public, never mind to stand before a holy God.
That is why Jesus died. He died so that at new birth we could leave behind our sinful rags and receive new clothes, his gift of righteousness.
Some years ago, I visited a church in Bosnia holding their baptismal services at the local river for baptism. As people arrived on their baptism day, they changed into a brand new white robe and left the clothes they arrived in on the riverbank as a reminder that they were leaving the old life behind and were entering into a new life clothed in God’s righteousness.
That is precisely what Isaiah was saying in Isaiah 61:10: “I am overwhelmed with joy in the Lord my God! For he has dressed me with the clothing of salvation and draped me in a robe of righteousness.” Jesus provides the robe of righteousness for us. This wonderfully redemptive garment was woven together by the perfect life he lived and by his death in which he made a full atonement for our sins.
Today’s devotional is an excerpt from a book I plan to release in 2017. If you would be interested in reading a pre-realised copy, please send me a message via the contact form and I will be happy to send you some more information. Thank you.