Lent Devotions 2009: Thursday 19th March

“For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ”. Galatians 3:27

Trinny and Susannah have made it their quest to better dress the female population of Britain. They confront often hostile women with the truth that they dress very badly, and they work on them to get them to change their habits and perceptions about themselves in order to get them to dress more fashionably.

In some respects God’s Word does the same to us. It confronts us with the very uncomfortable truth that “all our righteous deeds are like polluted garments” (Is. 64:6). Apart from Christ, our finest deeds are rubbish, useless, and they stink in God’s nostrils. Our dress is soiled and spoiled, apparently beyond mending.

But thanks be to God that His Word does its work upon us and changes those filthy rags into the clothing of Christ. Through faith in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of our sins, our old tattered and disgusting clothes have been washed and made white in the blood of the Lamb (Rev. 7:14). And our verse today informs us this wonderful washing and re-clothing takes place in the Sacrament of Baptism. For in this Sacrament, the Word of Christ is combined with the water to clothe us in the perfection of Jesus Christ. And that really does change the way we perceive ourselves. We are no longer dirty, disgusting, and unkempt before God, but we are washed clean, dressed in God’s finest, and transformed to live life to its fullest.

Once in the blest baptismal waters
I put on Christ and made Him mine;
Now numbered with God’s sons and daughters
I share His peace and love divine.
O God, for Jesus’ sake I pray
Your peace may bless my dying day.

(LSB 598 st. 1)