I will greatly rejoice in the Lord;
my soul shall exult in my God,
for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation;
he has covered me with the robe of righteousness,
as a bridegroom decks himself like a priest with a beautiful headdress,
and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.
For as the earth brings forth its sprouts,
and as a garden causes what is sown in it to sprout up,
so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise
to sprout up before all the nations. Isaiah 61:10-11 ESV
Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. Ephesians 5:25-27 ESV
When a woman gets married, she almost always wears a beautiful dress for her wedding. In different parts of the world, what a bride wears might be different. In Macedonia a bride wears a smock beautifully embroidered in red, white, and gold. In Eritrea, a bride wears a velvet crown and a robe of gold and purple. In the highlands of Peru, a bride wears a beautiful red and black dress. An Iraqi bride changes into seven different dresses during her wedding celebration, and each dress is a different color of the rainbow! Even though brides around the world wear different kinds of dresses, each bride puts on her special clothes to make herself look beautiful for her new husband.
Isaiah used the picture of a bride or a groom dressing to look wonderful for the wedding day. He talked about a groom wearing a beautiful headdress, and a bride covering herself with jewels. Isaiah talked about a garment of salvation, or a robe of righteousness. This beautiful robe isn’t something anyone can make for himself or herself and put on for God. Instead, the Lord provides these beautiful clothes for his people. God would make his people a garden of righteousness and praise that all the people of the world would see.
When Jesus came into the world, he gave himself up to die on the cross for the sins of the whole world. His death won the forgiveness of sins for everyone who believes in him, and he covers us with his blood and his righteousness. We were sinful and not right with God, but Jesus’ life was completely right with his Heavenly Father. He covers us with the lovely robe of his righteousness. He calls his people, the church, his bride, and he loves the church the way a good husband loves his wife. Jesus gave everything he had to win his bride for himself, to wash away her sins, and to give her a beautiful wedding garment of righteousness to wear.
Dear Jesus, thank you for loving us and washing us clean and giving us your righteousness. Amen.