The Emperor's New Clothes
During my summer after 8th grade, one week of my summer was in Huntsville, Alabama, to attend Space Academy. My grandma told me that I should always travel with a pair of clean clothes.
Her advice was well received, and I kept a pair of clean clothes in my bag during my training stint. These clothes never came out during my stay. My flight back home had a layover, but I was not able to make the second flight. The suitcase in the belly of the plane I was on found its way to connecting flight, but I was not unable to leave the aircraft until the catching flight was in the air. Luckily, I had a pair of clean clothes in my carry-on bag. Thanks Grandma! With a shower after three hours on the tarmac in Alabama and one hour on the plane in Nebraska made me feel . . . gross. Why is this story relevant in our lives as Christians? Because we have new clothes because of Christ. We wear His robe to cover our sins.
This redemptive work of Christ begins clear back in Genesis.
21 And the Lord God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins and clothed them.
After God meets Adam and Eve who try to cover their nakedness (sin), God is gracious and merciful and creates garments for the both of them. They were ashamed of their sin that was exposed to the world, and God covered them. No, being naked was not the sin, but the sin that was revealed through the eating from the tree of knowledge.
Let us look at Isaiah 61.
10 I will greatly rejoice in the Lord; my soul shall exult in my God, for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation; he has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself like a priest with a beautiful headdress, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.
Our soul can rest and know that we are exalted in the Lord because of garments that He lays upon us to hide our sin and show that we are part of His home and kingdom.
Who can forget the Wedding Banquet from Matthew chapter 22.
11 “But when the king came in to look at the guests, he saw there a man who had no wedding garment. 12 And he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you get in here without a wedding garment?’ And he was speechless.
This is a story again about Christ; Christ is the wedding garment. How so? Without the garment of Christ (or Christ) you cannot enter the kingdom. Without the garment, you are tossed into the street of torment and darkness.
Think about the Parable of the Prodigal Son. The Prodigal Son is not a parable with a lesson to be learned, but it is about the redemptive work of Christ.
22 But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet.
When the son returns to his father after effectively killing his father to receive his inheritance instantly only to squander the estate, he returns to the father to receive the best robe and the ring. The best robe signifies to what family this son belongs, and the ring gives the son the signet and power to make decisions for the kingdom. These rings had specific designs that were used to press into the wax to seal a scroll used to implement rules, make decisions, and to certify or decree ‘let it be so.’
Then there is, of course, Revelation 3:18.
8 I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, so that you may be rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself and the shame of your nakedness may not be seen, and salve to anoint your eyes, so that you may see. 19 Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent.
Revelation is not about the end of the world like most make it to be, but a promise that has been filled by Christ alone. We hear how upon you is laid the robe of righteousness again by the Lord.
As Christians, we wake up every day knowing that we are wearing new clothing from Christ before the Father so that we receive the kingdom that belongs to His Son. Because of this, we should carry ourselves that received a shower (baptism in the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) and the robe to show who we belong. You are not part of this world, and the world will revile you. You are not part of this world; you are declared His own. Click here to see a list of: Not of this world.
Go in peace, amen.
-Reverend Cody Mills