A robe of righteousness – 2015.08.29
I delight greatly in the Lord; my soul rejoices in my God.
For he has clothed me with garments of salvation
and arrayed me in a robe of his righteousness,
as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest,
and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.
Isaiah 61, 10
I do not like people who walk around with a clean slate or a “white shirt” as we say in Germany. They often elevate themselves above others and brag about their advantages and their impeccable resume. I always think: Yes, white on the outside and oh how beautiful, but on the inside? Lying and deception are often behind the facade, when we see people with so a clean shirt.
When I work, my shirt is often dirty and soiled. I certainly can’t go into town or go to a party in that shirt! I’ve got to get a clean shirt out of the closet and put it on.
I had a picture of this story with the white shirts. We were in heaven and everyone was walking around in a crisp white shirt. Everyone was happy and it was a wonderful fellowship. Many were sitting together, singing. Or they were standing there were telling each other things. But there was still work to do! Nobody did the work, all were happily standing about and did not care about what had to be done. So the work was again left with me. I went to work, and sometimes the nice shirt got dirty. After some time I got a little angry: Everyone was standing around and I had to do the work… When I was slowly getting bitter and self-pity rose up, I saw a grey streaks flowing over my white shirt. Awful! I wondered if it could become clean ever again. But first the work had to be finished. Grimly, I continued to work. I noticed how the others pointed the finger at me and were talking about my dirty shirt. As I sat down quite discouraged. A brother came and listened to my complaints. Then he took me and we went to the closet. There already was a new, gleaming white shirt ready for me. The servant there said: Please, come every time when there is dirt on your shirt! We have plenty of white shirts, you need not be running around so filthy and dirty! So I gave my old shirt with bitterness, and put on the new one. Immediately joy was in my heart and I could sing with the others again. They were glad that I was back in their midst.
Jesus wants to give us new clothes, garments of salvation and a robe of righteousness. Why should we walk around with dirty, ragged, stinking clothes? He likes to take off us everything that is dirty, smelly and tattered; – Our sin, pride, self-pity … and gives us the joyful clothes. He even dresses us, all we need to do, is leave the rags to him. Some people come ten times a day and get a new clothes; and others wait and wait until it is really no longer possible to wear the clothes, they are totally filthy and full of holes. Why don’t they come more often to Jesus?
Now I have a clean shirt, just as the people who I do not like, these self-righteous Pharisees. But I have to thank Jesus, He is my righteousness and my salvation. It is certainly not my merit. Praise be Jesus who saved me and equips with white clothes! He is wonderful!!
Thank you, Jesus, You make me new! Actually, I’m a failure like all the others. But you wash me clean and make me holy. You give me garments of salvation and a robe of righteousness! Thank you, now I’m proud of my clothes and I am glad; – You alone make it possible!
Bible Reading Today: Luke 15, 11-23