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 righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.… For Zion’s sake I will not keep silent, for Jerusalem’s sake I will not remain quiet, till her righteousness shines out like the dawn, her salvation like a blazing torch. The nations will see your righteousness, and all kings your glory; you will be called by a new name that the mouth of the LORD will bestow.
Isaiah 61:10, 62:1-2
Your After Picture
Makeovers are remarkable. You have seen the “before” and “after” pictures on TV. You’ve seen the man with the 70’s hippy look transformed into the GQ magazine look or the woman with the no makeup look transformed into the Glamour magazine look. You are that person, spiritually speaking.
You can see your “before” picture in the mirror of God’s law, which demands you to be flawless. It’s not a pretty look. Your clothes are filthy from the dirt in your life, stained from enjoying life too much, and worn out from all the begging you’ve done on your knees. You’re a mess, an offense to yourself and even more to your God. You know it, and you are helpless to change it. Try as you might, God declares, “Although you wash yourself with soda and use an abundance of soap, the stain of your guilt is still before me””(Jeremiah 2:22).
But then there’s your “after” picture. In that picture there is another person beside you. The other person is your substitute. Christ came to exchange clothes with you—his perfection for your imperfection, your guilt for his forgiveness, your damnation for his salvation. This is what he did on the cross, and because he did, there is nothing about you that is less than perfect in God’s eyes. Using the imagery of Isaiah, you are a picture-perfect bridegroom and bride.
Your joy is to let others know what God in Christ has done for you. The Lord himself wants this known. He wants everyone to know the garment exchange he has made. He wants them to know that Christ’s righteousness covers their unrighteousness. He wants to transform their lives. And he will. By grace he has transformed yours.
Dear Lord, I rejoice that you have clothed me with your righteousness. I pray that others enjoy these same clothes. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
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