PUTTING ON JESUS’ GARMENTS
By Dan Luehrs
"The soldiers therefore, when they had crucified Jesus, took His outer garments and made four parts, a part to every soldier and also the tunic; now the tunic was seamless, woven in one piece. They said therefore to one another, "Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it, to decide whose it shall be"; that the Scripture might be fulfilled, "They divided My outer garments among them, and for My clothing they cast lots." Therefore the soldiers did these things…" (John 19:23-24 NAS).
Very little has been written or preached about the garments of our Lord as He was departing this life and regards to there meaning as the mantle that they represent for the body of Christ to wear. We hear of Elijah’s mantle falling to the earth after he was taken up to heaven [who was a type of Christ] and Elisha [who is a type of body of Christ] putting it on and doing twice as many miracles as his predecessor.
I hear the Spirit of Jesus saying to us: "Now is the time to take up My garments and to put them on, they are fitted to the size of the fullness of Christ’s likeness in My body and not until now have a people been prepared to wear them. Through them you shall walk as I walked and do greater miracles then I did. So shall you do!"
In this chapter I write to you about the revelation of Jesus’ garments of grace and humility that He is offering to us. I will use this outline of what the Lord is showing me from the verses above.
OUR CRUCIFIED LORD
When Jesus suffered the crucifixion He died so that His blood would wash away our sins through the forgiveness of His cross. We all have been forgiven a great debt that was written against us and were given a great gift from God that we had no way of paying. I do not think that we will understand the full ramifications of this until we see Him face to face and see what He has prepared for us in eternity. Even though the forgiveness by His cross is the greatest gift that He has given to us whether we understand it or not, there is much more in our benefits package then I can explain in this small writing. But I will do my best through the Spirit of God’s help to reveal to you our garments given to us by the Lord.
The Bible tells us that God has given each of us a measure of faith that we have been entrusted with. It also says that we have been given the spiritual gifts of Jesus that He left for us when He arose on high. We just must claim them as our rightful gifts as Elisha did.
"But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ's gift. Therefore it says, "When He ascended on high, He led captive a host of captives, and He gave gifts to men" (Eph 4:7-8 NAS).
Grace [the anointing] was given to employ the gifts that God has given to us. To some He gave the five-fold gifts of ministry for the building up of the body of Christ. Jesus possessed all the gifts within Himself and at His death He divided them up with each member of the body so that we could all share the garments [attributes] of Christ.
He has given each of us His garment of humility if we will put it on and keep it on. God gives His grace [power] to the humble, but is opposed to the proud, so it is best for us to learn humility in the face of all our trials. These trials are working to make us into His image as they chisel away from us everything that is not like Him so that we can keep our garments on and grow into His likeness. These garments are not our own, but they have been given cover for the shame of our nakedness of sin that we all have on the inside of us. The grace of His cross in our lives keeps us from living a sin filled life style and keeps us free from sin and death. Thank you Jesus for going to the cross!
THEY TOOK HIS GARMENTS
"Awake, awake, clothe yourself in your strength, O Zion; clothe yourself in your beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city" (Isa 52:1 NAS).
Much is said in the Scriptures of our beautiful garments that the Lord has prepared for us. Even as we must put on our clothes everyday, so must we put on the garments of the Lord each day and keep them clean and white with the cleansing power of His blood. As our natural clothes get dirty just with the wearing of them from our body oils and smells, so our spiritual garments get soiled from the wearing of them in a sin filled world. "Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter by the gates into the city" (Rev 22:14 NAS). The blessing of the Lord is bestowed upon us as we daily wash our garments in the cleansing power of His blood, for His blood will never lose its power! I wish that I could write to you that I walk perfectly sinless and I have no need to wash my garments, but you would all know that I am lying! So until Jesus comes and gives us a new spiritual body that is sinless you and I will need to use the spiritual washing machine of the blood of His forgiveness. This is why we are told in Revelation 3:18:
"I advise you to buy from Me gold refined by fire, that you may become rich, and white garments, that you may clothe yourself, and that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed…"
We must be willing to pay the price of following the Lord wherever He goes and by keeping our garments clean through our obedience to Him. This alone will keep our garments clean so that we can clothe ourselves in the garments of His beauty and cover the shame of our sin and nakedness. So that we might be prepared for the coming of His glory in and through His body. It is only His clean garments that He paid with His blood that can keep and prepare us for our great wedding day!
The soldiers, "…Took His outer garments and made four parts…" (John 19:23).
When the soldiers took His garments on that day they were trying to mock Him because He hung naked on the cross taking our sin and shame for us. Jesus had nothing to hide and was showing the world His beaten and battered body that took our sin, sickness, and sorrow. It was through His shame that Jesus triumphed over the enemy and gave us the greatest victory of all eternity, for had the enemy known this he would not have crucified the Lord of glory. But thank God he did!
The soldiers stole the garments of Christ and divided them up four ways amongst themselves symbolizing that these garments are for the overcoming body of Christ. Four is the number of the overcomer because it was on the forth day that God made the sun to rule over the darkness, and that is just what these garments represent for us-victory! For it is only the finished work on Calvary that qualifies us for sonship ministry as we keep our garment clean and white. "Behold, I am coming like a thief. Blessed is the one who stays awake and keeps his garments, lest he walk about naked and men see his shame" (Rev 16:15 NAS). A great blessing is bestowed upon us as we guard and cleanse our garments that we are stewards over while we are alive upon this earth, then God will give us a new body that we will be clothed in having the same glory as Jesus.
TO EVERY SOLDIER
"… A part to every soldier and also the tunic…" (John 19:23).
This verse is so prophetic that it screams with revelation! This garment that the Lord has given us protects us from all the onslaughts of the enemy and keep us as an armor of light. That is if we keep it clean!
"The night is almost gone, and the day is at hand. Let us therefore lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us behave properly as in the day, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual promiscuity and sensuality, not in strife and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts" (Rom 13:12-14 NAS).
It’s when we put on daily, the Lord Jesus Christ that we are safe and free to live for God. But it is when we allow our garments to be become soiled with sin that we fight battles that were not meant for us, because we have allowed the enemy an access point to attack us. It is with repentance and seeking the forgiveness of God that we are freed from these attacks. Our enemy is a being of pride and when we humble ourselves is when his power is broken. We must first submit to God and resist the devil, and then he will flee from us.
THE SEAMLESS ONE PIECE GARMENT
"… Now the tunic was seamless, woven in one piece. They said therefore to one another, "Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it, to decide whose it shall be"; that the Scripture might be fulfilled, "They divided My outer garments among them, and for My clothing they cast lots" (John 19:23-24 NAS).
A tunic is an outer garment that is also called a robe or a mantle that a person wore for many years. It would keep them warm like a blanket at night or they could wear it as a coat in the daytime. The first time we read of a tunic is in Genesis 37:3 when Jacob gave Joseph a coat of many colors and his brothers became jealous and sold him. As we can see in this story, mantles were worn for status and rank among people groups, for example, the shepherds would have used them extensively living out in the pasture everyday.
The next time we read about tunics is when God directed Moses to make them for the priesthood of Israel so that they could minister to the Lord in the Tabernacle of the wilderness. "For Aaron's sons you shall make tunics, and you shall make sashes for them. And you shall make hats for them, for glory and beauty" (Ex 28:40 NKJV). When the priest would enter the holy place to minister unto to the Lord everyday they would be dressed in pure white garments of linen. This was the only acceptable garment that a priest could wear without fearing death in God’s presence. God is more holy and purer then any of us could even begin to comprehend; yet God initiated a way back to Himself for man. When Adam and Eve fell into sin the way into God’s presence was shut, then God prepared another way for man to come back into His presence through the blood of animals. These sacrifices took place everyday and the fires in the altar could never go out because the blood had to flow so that a holy God could remain in the middle of His people in the tabernacle. We must remember that God has sought us out and He jealously desires to fill us with Himself!
The garments of Jesus that the soldiers were disputing over were blood soaked and they covered His entire body. We see a picture of this in Revelation 19:13-14, "And He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood; and His name is called The Word of God. And the armies which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, were following Him on white horses." The seamless one-piece garment that was dipped in blood covers the entire body of Christ so that she can be one with Him riding on white horses to destroy the works of the devil. This is why the enemy would have loved to rip and soil our garments and destroy them because it represents the mantle of God covering His people. This mantle gives us the power of unity and the authority of God!
Much is said in the book of Revelation about our white garments and how we are to pay the price for them by following the Lord wherever He goes. These white garments serve as both wedding and warfare garments, this is because they represent our becoming one with the Lord so that we can fight in His battles and overcome the enemies of God. This is the highest privilege ever given to any person who has ever lived, but it is only for the ones who have overcome through all their trials and have become like Him wearing white garments. Are you one of the called and chosen of the Lord who will pay any price to walk with Him in white?
LET US DECIDE WHOSE IT SHALL BE
"But you have a few people in Sardis who have not soiled their garments; and they will walk with Me in white; for they are worthy. 'He who overcomes shall thus be clothed in white garments…" (Rev 3:4-5 NAS).
The soldiers decide who will receive the garments. We, you and I crucified the Lord of glory by our sin! But now the bloodstained garments have been given to us to wash away our sin so that we can be like Him in white. The few people in Sardis decided whose they should be; they knew what to do with them; to keep them clean and white with the blood of the Lamb. It’s not that they did not sin anymore, but that they overcame the trials that were allowed into their lives and overcame by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony, and they did not love their live unto death. These are the great champions of God, for this is the key for us to become the overcomers that God has called us to be!
We are the soldiers of the cross and we will fight in this last great battle to overcome all evil with good and in the end we will defeat death. God has called us to be His sons even as Jesus is, having power and authority until we will get the complete victory over the power of sin and death. We must stop making excuses for our sin and cuddling it as if Jesus did not pay the full price for our deliverance. We must now let Him live His victory over sin in and through us, for He now gives us the complete victory if we will claim it!
THAT THE SCRIPTURES MIGHT BE FULFILLED
"For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God.
…That the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption (sin) into the freedom of the glory of the children of God" (Rom 8:19, 21 NAS).
The verse above prophetically announces that God’s sons-the overcomers will be so completely freed from the power of sin that one day this will be revealed to all of creation of His goodness to man. (See Rev. 21:7). The world yet to behold this, but one day soon they will behold His manifest glory shining through His sons with the brightness of God’s glory. Oh what a day that will be!
There is coming a time and now is, when God’s people will rise above sin and proclaim their sonship by having the power and authority of Jesus Christ to set all mankind free from their sins. Sin brings a curse upon people and the land, only the blood of Jesus can set the nations free from the slavery that binds all people groups. Most people abhor slavery of any type, yet they do not see themselves as slaves to sin because they are blind to this fact even as the Pharisees were in Jesus’ time. But these chosen ones of God will have the expressed image of Jesus manifested through their lives so much, that they will be able to say, "When you have seen the son, you will have seen Jesus." People will see their sin and repent quickly from it and be set free.
The phase, "That the Scriptures might be fulfilled" is used twelve times in the New Testament. Romans chapter eight must be fulfilled like many other Scriptures that are related to it in the Old and New Testament. All the prophecies of Jesus’ first coming had to come to pass, and so must every one of them regarding His coming again in His people. All of creation is headed for an unavoidable impact with God! Will you be ready, are your garments spotless?
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