Dressing up for Jesus

Intriguing wear for the road

It is fascinating to reflect on the nudity in humanity’s debut (Genesis 2:25, And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed) and the many absurd developments in secular and sacred clothing. Our ideas of shame and confidence get sprinkled across the millennia and over the very territory where clothing is front and centre. In full solidarity with humanity we need clothing like Adam, Eve, and Aaron did, and like all saints do. Dressing up can be a futile venture like the figleaf choices of Adam and Eve, but it can also be found among the highly recommended and urgent activities we need for the life God gives us.

More than clothes

Even though our destiny indicates a genderless – angelic – condition we have been focused on clothing to the detriment of the quality of life.

For when they shall rise from the dead, they neither marry, nor are given in marriage; but are as the angels which are in heaven. Mark 12:25

Our Lord evaluated the contemporary attitude towards clothing (plus food and drink) as not sustainable (Matthew 6:25). Life is definitely more than the clothes and other things we accumulate.

Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?

Naked humans, all eligible for a new wardrobe

Some parts of the human race did not seem to have latched on to the clothing practices from Eden, and those parts remains a rebuke to the parts of the world where clothing is high on the list of priorities and an integral part of culture and commerce. All humans are exposed and vulnerable in the spiritual and natural realms. We have interdependence hooks and handrails that we do not acknowledge. Amid all our insecurities and adversities we can easily forget that we are all in God’s care. In our Lord’s work he was interested in helping us understand that clothing indicates the interest of caregivers

And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Matthew 6:28-29

Just as the ancients had God as tailor and seamstress so we moderns have our wardrobe taken care of by the Heavenly Father.

A sprint or marathon

Imagine that God had adopted us into his family – pardoned us and given us the Holy Spirit – would people not be justified in calling him out if he asked us to go out and purchase our own clothing sporting the family crest? If that was not strange enough there are people who are designing their own wardrobe.

We are pretty sure that priests, and the high priest in particular, dressed and undressed as required in performing their duties. The Christian priesthood, all believers, do not have that dynamic.

We put on Christ and no change is required. Christ is our righteousness. Armour and Spirit-fruit are the benefits of our wardrobe. The things of Christ and God only reach us via the Holy Spirit.

We recognize our clothing in the promise of the Father (Luke 24:49)

We recognize our clothing in the baptism with the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:5)
For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.

We recognize our clothing in the power the Holy Spirit brings (Acts 1:8)
But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judæa, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

None of these are loans, therefore our dressing up for Jesus is far from being a lifelong pursuit of right things. Getting dressed is no marathon. It is not even a sprint, because no labour is involved in Christ sending the Holy Spirit to those who believe that God’s Son died and rose for the benefit of humanity.