Devotional: ‘Where is Your Wedding Garment?’

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Matthew 22:11 “But when the king came in to look at the guests, he saw there a man who had no wedding garment. 12 And he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you get in here without a wedding garment?’ And he was speechless. 13 Then the king said to the attendants, ‘Bind him hand and foot and cast him into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ ESV

I have read that it was an ancient custom for the host to provide each of his guests with a special garment whenever there was an elaborate feast. No doubt this added to the festivity of the occasion as each of the guests made over his or her garment. Even the rich probably considered it a treat to wear something from the king’s own wardrobe. But imagine what must have gone through the minds of those who had come off of the streets. Imagine a poor, dirty beggar slipping on this elaborate silk garment. Never in his life had he seen, much less worn, something so special. Perhaps for the first few moments he was too overwhelmed to say anything. Perhaps all he could do was simply stare with wonder at what he was wearing.

The Bible tells us – Isaiah 61:10 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. ESV

The book of Revelation speaks of the church being “arrayed in fine linen, white and pure…” (Rev 19:14 ESV) If indeed our robes in heaven are white, they will be the whitest white anyone has ever seen for these robes represent the righteousness of God Himself.

But as the king mingled among the guests, he came upon a man still in his street clothes. Maybe the man had tried to slip from the side without going through the front gate. Maybe he had turned down the opportunity to wear one of the king’s robes, thinking that it was silly to wear something so elaborate. Maybe he proudly thought that what he was wearing was good enough. I’m not sure why he wasn’t wearing one of the king’s garments; I am only know what it cost him.

Matthew 21:13 Then the king said to the attendants, ‘Bind him hand and foot and cast him into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ ESV

There will be no one living in heaven who has not been properly clothed in God’s garment of salvation. This means that there will be no top executives still wearing their expensive suits; nor any roughnecks still will wearing their street clothes. There will not be even a religious figure there, still wearing his revered earthly garments. The only ones who will be in heaven will be those who are clothed in the garment of salvation that has been made available through the sacrificial death of the Lord Jesus Christ.

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