Wednesday, July 5, 2017

“The Best Robe”

(We've sent this one out, or a version thereof, a number of times over the years.  This seems like a good time for another run.)

"The Best Robe"      

      "Bring forth the best robe and put it on Him" (Luke 15:22).      


      Who does the Bible identify as the recipient of "the best robe?"

      Is it the Lord Jesus Christ, honored upon His triumphant return to Heaven after He victoriously trampled sin, hell, and the grave under His nail-scarred feet?  Might it be David, at the coronation where he was crowned King of Israel?  Or could the Bible refer to an overcoming saint, finally reaching glory after living an earthly lifetime of faith, obedience, and sacrifice for God and others?

      These candidates for the best robe do not serve as the subject referred to by our Savior.  Instead, He identified the recipient as one who expected little or no reception and welcome.

     "And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him. And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father's have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, and am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants. And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him. And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son. But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet: and bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry: for this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found" (Luke 15:15-24).

     We have all sinned against our Father, directly identifying with the wayward son.  If we have trusted the Lord Jesus Christ, however, God adorns us with the best robe.  He clothes us with our Savior's righteousness to the degree that our Father no longer remembers our rejection of Him, or the spiritual and moral degradation that ensued.  He rather looks upon us and sees the robe, the best robe of Christ's merits and redemptive working on our behalf.  Thereby He freely imputes His faithful Son's righteousness to our trusting hearts Forever thereafter, He relates to us as the loving Father of sons and daughters who were dead, and are alive again, who were lost, and now are found.

    "And lest the shadow of a spot should on my soul be found, He took the robe my Savior wrought, and cast it all around!" (Isaac Watts, from the hymn, "Awake My Heart, Arise My Tongue!).

     Upon our arrival in Heaven, we will far better realize the extent of our Lord's redemption, and its cost.  It will seem we cannot bow low enough to adequately humble ourselves before the Author and Finisher of our salvation.  This will be true, but we will also hear our Father's command that we arise in order to display to all the Blood-washed garment that adorns us.  As we do, the glory of the Lord Jesus will shine forth from us in a splendor heretofore unknown, along with the revelation of a grace that even eternity will not fully exhibit...

"But God, who is rich in mercy, for His great love wherewith He loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together in Christ (by grace ye are saved), and hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us through Christ Jesus."
(Ephesians 2:4-7)

Weekly Memory Verse 
    O LORD, be gracious unto us; we have waited for Thee: be Thou their arm every morning, our salvation also in the time of trouble.
(Isaiah 33:2)

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