“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” (Jeremiah 23:6).
There is nothing that feels better than a crisp, clean set of clothes. I’ve been trying to take up running. After I come in from a three mile run, my shirt is gross! It’s smelly and drenched with sweat. It feels so good, after I’ve showered, to put on a shirt that is dry and clean.
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. God is not going to let us into his house—heaven—wearing those kind of clothes!
But there is nothing that feels better than a crisp, clean set of clothes! Jesus lived a completely righteous life. His spiritual clothes were never stained with a single sin. And then he said to you, “Change shirts with me.” He put on your shirt that was 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).
Jesus was wearing our sinful clothes when 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. And he lets that perfect life count for us. He is “The LORD Our Righteousness,” (Jeremiah 23:6). Because Jesus’ perfect life—his righteousness—counts for us, that means that we can get into heaven!
So the next time you finish some strenuous activity, remember with joy that Jesus put on your grimy, sinful clothes. And when you open your dresser and find a neatly folded shirt, remember that Jesus has 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!