Have you been doing any biking, hiking, or running this summer? What happens when you do? You sweat, right? You feel dirty. You feel gross. Even to simply step outside with the humidity lately will get you to that point: sweaty, dirty, gross. The shower brings relief and coolness. Then you can put on a dry and clean shirt and you feel refreshed. At that moment it is as if there is nothing that feels better than a crisp, clean set of clothes.
Do you ever consider the spiritual clothes you wear? We have all made our spiritual clothes sweaty, dirty and gross. Our unkind words and self-centered thoughts are like mud caked on our spiritual shirts. Then, just like your mom used to say to you as a child, God would have to say to you, “You cannot step foot in this house with those clothes on! You are filthy!”
We need a crips, clean set of clothes. Jesus lived a completely righteous life. His spiritual clothes were never stained with a single sin. Jesus says to you, “Change shirts with me.” He put on your shirt stained with sin, and in exchange he gave you his crisp, clean shirt. That’s what the Bible means when it says, “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21).
It was because Jesus wore our sinful clothes that he suffered and died on the cross. In exchange, he gave us his sinless clothes. Now, when God looks at us, he does not see dirty, sinful clothes. Instead, he sees the crisp, clean clothes of Jesus. The Bible puts it this way: “He has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of righteousness” (Isaiah 61:10).
We haven’t lived a perfect life, but Jesus has. He lets that perfect life count for us. That is what makes Jesus “The LORD Our Righteousness,” (Jeremiah 23:6). Righteousness is a clean set of spiritual clothes. Jesus is your righteousness.
The next time you finish a strenuous activity, remember with joy that Jesus put on your grimy, sinful clothes. When you open your dresser and find a neatly folded shirt, remember that Jesus put a fresh, clean shirt on you. You are clothed in his perfect righteousness, and there is nothing that feels better than a crisp, clean set of clothes!
In his days Judah will be saved and Israel will live in safety.
This is the name by which he will be called: The LORD Our Righteousness.