Dressed for the wedding

Today’s devotional fits well with yesterday’s post about funerals and the Gospel. It’s from InterVarsity Press’ The Online Pulpit, and it looks at a short scene from Jesus’ crucifixion with symbolic significance:

When the soldiers crucified Jesus, they took his clothes, dividing them into four shares, one for each of them, with the undergarment remaining. This garment was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom.

“Let’s not tear it,” they said to one another. “Let’s decide by lot who will get it.”
This happened that the scripture might be fulfilled which said,
“They divided my garments among them
and cast lots for my clothing.” (Jn 19:23-24 NIV)

I have always wondered why Jesus wore something so fine the Roman soldiers did not want to rip it up. I like imagining Jesus as the funky itinerant teacher dressed in something from the Salvation Army. But under it all he wore a fine tunic of the sort the high priest wore into the holy of holies. In the case of Christ though, it was stripped from him that he might take our sin, shame and nakedness on the cross. We in turn are clothed in his righteousness. Only he could stand before God naked and unashamed. He became unclothed so that we could become clothed with the finest wedding garments.

In this life we still feel a bit naked and exposed. Death is one of the things that can do this. Death reminds us just how feeble and frail we are no matter what we might be wearing. We cannot dress up death. Our own sense of nakedness moves us to find the greatest seamstress, our Father, who gives us the festal garments of salvation.

God has created us for this very purpose, for this wedding feast. And it is with confidence that we look forward to this feast, for in Christ we will not be found naked but clothed in the white garments of righteousness.

Read the complete message at The Online Pulpit.

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