This past fall our family was sitting in church watching one of our family friends getting baptized. As our little friend was standing in the baptistry my kids get up and stand out in the aisle and begin jumping up and down shouting with joy because their friend was getting baptized! As everyone around us smiled their approval of my kids actions, my knee jerk reaction was to quiet them so they would stop being a disruption, but in that moment I heard God say, “You should get up and do the same thing as your kids!” Our friend getting baptized was a moment that needed to be celebrated! She was confessing the new life she has in Christ! That is every reason to jump up and celebrate! Yet the adult in me didn’t want to look undignified so I sat on my rump and just smiled and clapped (which is a big improvement from the conservative “amen” I grew up saying) as our friend arose form the baptistry. After church that day I had so many church members come and tell me, “I loved watching your kids celebrate the baptism, they set a great example of how we should all be responding.” I am guessing Holy Spirit was speaking this truth to the majority of us adults that day. I decided then that the next baptism I watched that I would celebrate without reservation.
Last night we had a baptism service at our church. We celebrated as 10 people got baptized!! There was cheering, shouts of victory, clapping and rejoicing with every person that arose from the water!! It was beautiful! After each person got out of the baptistry I noticed one of our church members taking and putting white bath robes on each soaked person. I turned to my friend Erin and said, “Oh wow, that blows me away that we were intentional about putting white robes on those being baptized, what a great symbol of God’s transformation in our lives.” Erin looked at me and said, “Wow, I don’t think we consciously bought white robes for that reason, but it is a great reason!” We laughed about it and as I watched each person being robed with the white robe, tears of joy streamed down my face!
White has always symbolized purity. When we get baptized we are agreeing with Jesus that our old dirty sinful self is being buried with Christ and a new pure spotless creation is rising from the grave like Jesus did! Isaiah 61:10 says, “I am overwhelmed with joy in the Lord my God! For He has dressed me with the clothing of salvation and draped me in a robe of righteousness. I am like a bridegroom dressed for his wedding or a bride with her jewels.” (NLT) We have been given the clothes of righteousness because of Jesus! We have been freed from guilt, shame and every sin! 2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold new things have come.” I don’t know about you, but I am overjoyed that the me of the past is not the me now!! That is something to jump up and down about and shout about!! That robe is a robe I gratefully wrap around myself and wear for eternity. Noting can disrobe you! Once you are wrapped in God’s robe of righteousness it cannot be removed! Now that does not give us free reign to go and misuse the free gift of righteousness committing every sin under the sun all the while thinking, “It’s ok, Im covered,” but it does remind us that we are still human and we will make mistakes. Even when this happens we can go to God and He will restore us.
I am grateful that the righteous robe that I put on is a gift that I do not have to earn, instead it is based on the finished work of Jesus. I am grateful that this robe of righteousness makes me whole and complete. I am grateful that since I have this robe of righteousness on, when God looks at me He does not see any blemish, all He sees is Jesus! I am grateful that nothing can disrobe me. Praise God for the new life He gives! Praise God for this robe of righteousness! Today just take time and celebrate the work that Jesus did for you when He clothed you with a robe of righteousness! Don’t be an adult about it either, get up and shout and rejoice for the work of Jesus in your life! And it is perfectly fine if you want to dance too!!