For instance, did you know who made the first pair of clothes? God did. We all know the story of Adam and Eve. They ate of the forbidden fruit, which opened their eyes to the fact that they were naked and needed to hide their shame. (I doubt the fig leaves did a good job.) So in walks the Almighty God. He calls them out and sets consequences for their sin. But then in Genesis 3:21 "The Lord God made clothing from animal skins for Adam and his wife." Sure, he was disappointed, yet he showed his great love by creating a covering for them with his own hands.
Adam and Eve aren't the only ones God has clothed. The prophet Isaiah declared "I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation, he has covered me with the robe of righteousness" Isaiah 61:10 And Paul confirms in Galatians 3:27 that through faith in Jesus "all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ." We are clothed in righteousness.
How do you feel when you have on a set of new clothes? Do you feel better about yourself, maybe a bit more confident? Do you take great care to make sure your new clothes don't get dirty or stained? I know I do. I bought a new pair of shoes recently and I still haven't worn them outside in this yucky winter weather. I wonder how our actions would be affected if we truly saw ourselves as being clothed with Christ...with righteousness...pure, unstained, unblemished. Maybe we would be a little more reluctant to go play in the mud.
I love this vision given in Zechariah 3:1-5. As you will see, I have made a few personalizations...Then the angel showed me Jeanette, standing before the angel of the Lord. Satan was there at the angel's right hand, accusing Jeanette of many things. And the Lord said to Satan "I, the Lord, reject your accusations, Satan. Yes, the Lord, who has chosen her, rebukes you. This woman is like a burning stick that has been snatched from a fire." Jeanette's clothing was filthy as she stood there before the angel. So the angel said to the others standing there, "Take off her filthy clothes," and turning to Jeanette he said, "See, I have taken away your sins, and now I am giving you these fine new clothes". Then I said "Please, could she also have a clean turban on her head?" So they put a clean priestly turban on her head and dressed her in new clothes while the angel of the Lord stood by.
So we first need to believe that God did what he said. We, as Christians, are clothed in righteousness. But there is other clothing we can choose to put on. In Colossians 3:12 Paul instructs us to clothe ourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. And in Ephesians 6:10-17 he urges us to put on the full armor of God so we can stand firm against Satan's schemes. Now that is clothing worth investing in.
Since I started out talking about the first pair of clothes, I will end by sharing a vision of the last. God showed me this passage around the time he took Betty, Jeremy's grandma, home. I pray it will be an encouragement to you. "For we know that when this earthly tent we live in is taken down - when we die and leave these bodies - we will have a home in heaven, an eternal body made for us by God himself and not by human hands. We grow weary in our present bodies, and we long for the day when we will put on our new heavenly bodies like new clothing. For we will not be spirits without bodies, but we will put on new heavenly bodies. Our dying bodies make us groan and sigh, but it's not that we want to die and have no bodies at all. We want to slip into our new bodies so that these dying bodies will be swallowed up by everlasting life. God himself has prepared us for this, and as a guarantee he has given us his Holy Spirit - 2 Corinthians 5:1-5
Now comes the challenge...to live it out.