Today we are returning to our theme of thanksgiving that expresses our agreement with, and total acceptance of what the Lord has done for us. One of the things we need to thank Him for is the fact that we are totally forgiven. Being grateful for the forgiveness He has bought for us on the cross, helps us to deal with any condemnation that comes when we know that we have failed or sinned.
We ‘know’ in our heads, from Isaiah 53, how Jesus sacrifice on the cross completely paid for all our sins and failings, but somehow we can still ‘feel’ easily condemned and guilty. This is not surprising since we have an accuser, who delights to keep us from enjoying all that Jesus won for us. Satan wants us to live with feelings of condemnation, because they do not honour Jesus sacrifice in any way.
The good news is that Jesus didn’t only die to pay the price for our sin, He also gave us the gift of His righteousness in exchange, Romans 5:17. Paul tells us He has also become our ‘righteousness, holiness and redemption’ 1Corinthians 5:30. Now, so far as God is concerned we are ‘clothed’ in His righteousness, and Jesus death has justified us before the throne of God, once and for all.
The fact is we have been given a ‘robe of righteousness’, straight from heaven. Isaiah 61:10. The Lord paid for it with His blood and put it on us when we asked for forgiveness and received Him into our lives. That robe of righteousness is not removed every time we sin, otherwise it would be off and on all day, almost like living in a changing room in Marks & Spencer!!
We know we still sin. John in his first letter to the churches said that we’d be deceiving ourselves if we ‘say we have no sin’. The answer, he says, is to confess it, not hide it ‘because God is faithful and just and will forgive those sins and purify us from all unrighteousness’. But we still have an enemy, ‘the accuser of the brethren’ Revelation 12:10, who does not want us to live ‘condemnation free’.
Let’s see how God deals with Satan by looking at what the prophet Zechariah saw in one of his visions. He saw Joshua, the high priest of the time, being accused by Satan. He was standing in ‘filthy clothes’ – Sounds like you and me from time to time – Zechariah then hears this, “The Lord rebuke you, Satan! The Lord who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you!” then the Angel tells those who are standing by “Take off his filthy clothes”, he then turns to Joshua and says, “See I have taken away your sin and I will put rich garments on you” Zechariah 3:2-5.
We so need to hear that spoken to us personally. If we were a beggar, offered a beautiful robe in exchange for our rags, we would say ‘thank you’, clean up, and put it on. Some of us need to do that with God, and see His delight as we accept the robe of righteousness with joy, and gratitude, and without protest that we are not worthy, because although it’s true that we aren’t, Jesus has chosen to make us worthy.
So let us thank Jesus for the cross, that His sacrifice was total and sufficient for all our sin. Then, let us also say a big ‘Thank You’ for the wonderful robe of righteousness that He paid for with His life. Let us wear our robe with joy, and any time we feel condemned or unworthy let us turn to the Lord and thank Him again for that robe. He will be pleased, and the devil silenced.
I love the line in the song ‘Majesty’ that goes,
‘In Royal Robes I don’t deserve, I live to serve, Your Majesty’.
Let’s do it!!!