Garments of Salvation
This time of the year takes me back to the days that we would be thinking about going back to school. The summer had been filled with swimming, playing with friends, and enjoying the swings, monkey bars, and seesaws in the park behind our house. Now, it was time to purchase our notebooks, pencils, lunch boxes, and most of all, clothes. I loved clothes even as a small child. Mother would find those pretty sweaters that matched our wool skirts. Wearing pants or shorts were not allowed in our public schools. Mother would always purchase a size larger in our clothing to be sure that they would fit us all winter. I would be so excited about my new outfits. My grandmother would help with the expenses because Mother’s income was all that we had. …But you know, we always had enough, and I always knew that I was so blessed to wear what I thought were the prettiest clothes around. My clothes kept me warm in the winter; and when spring came, my clothes were comfortable for the warm days. Yes, I remember school rooms that had no air condition in the days of coming summer.
Natural clothes cover our nakedness. There are those that are covered with clothes, but Jesus says in Revelation 3:17&18, “Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear…” Many people have the things of this world, but there is a void in their lives. Nothing can satisfy like the Presence of Jesus in our souls.
Jesus told a story about a wedding in Matthew 22:11-13, “And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment: And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless. Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” What was the wedding garment? Garments worn on special occasions were usually long white robes, and it was the custom of the king who was over the wedding to prepare such robes to be worn by the guests. The man in this story came in his ordinary clothes. The proper attire had been prepared for him, but he had refused it. He came in his own garments (his own righteousness) which was as filthy rags (Is. 64:6). The man had highly disrespected the King in doing so. King Jesus made all men and women a wedding garment. It is that garment (robe) of salvation (Is. 61:10). It is for “whosoever will” to receive and wear it as his/her own. Those who refuse this garment will not enter heaven. Instead, he/she will be taken to the fiery jaws of hell in eternal torment.
Accepting Jesus as Lord of one’s life, he/she receives the “gift of righteousness” (Rom. 5:17). Jesus is the Righteousness of God. He never failed nor came short of the glory of God. When we receive Jesus, we receive the gift of “right standing with God”; “justified” – just as if we have never sinned. It is important to know that even in our shortcomings and failures, we have the robe of righteousness/ the gift of righteousness and we can wear it as our own. We can approach the throne of God because we are washed in the blood of Jesus and are wearing His righteousness. Isaiah 32:17 says, “And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever.” Let us put on this robe of righteousness and enjoy our Lord’s peace, His quietness, and confidence in Him both now and forever; yes, even during the winter times of life. Amen!