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Why cast our coats before Him

Yesterday evening, while Pam and I prepared family worship for our church services this morning, she read selections from articles on Palm Sunday that she found on various websites.  One in particular opened up a new insight to my understanding about our seasonal observance of Palm Sunday that I would like to share with you today.

In this particular article the author featured verses in Revelation 7 which read as follows:

Revelation 7:9-10 IV (KJV) – After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; and cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.

The author then connected this prophecy to our present day observance of Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday.  According to the author, we observe this special day in anticipation of that great day in which, among other things, the Lord as our Savior will clothe each of us with a white robe, and we, with palms in hand, will cry out together with a loud voice … Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.

Romans 8:18-25 IV (KJV) – For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be named with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. For the creature was made subject to tribulation not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected it in hope; Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body. For we are saved by hope; but hope that is seen is not hope; for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then with patience we do wait for it.

As I prayerfully pondered the connection of our Palm Sunday observance today with this future day event, a thought prevailed in my mind about the appropriateness of – actually the need for – our casting our robes down before the Lord in anticipation of the event described in Revelation 7:9,10.  We too should cry out together to the Lord, Hosanna, just as the peoples in Jesus’ day did when He rode into Jerusalem on a colt.  Of their use of the word Hosanna on that day, we read from the four Gospels:

Matthew 21:5-7 IV (KJV) – And the disciples went, and did as Jesus commanded them; and brought the colt, and put on it their clothes; and Jesus took the colt and sat thereon; and they followed him. And a very great multitude spread their garments in the way; others cut down branches from the trees, and strewed in the way. And the multitudes that went before, and also that followed after, cried, saying, Hosanna to the Son of David; blessed is he who cometh in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!

Mark 11:1-13 IV (KJV) – And many spread their garments in the way; and others cut down branches of trees and strewed them in the way. And they that went before him, and they that followed after, cried, saying, Hosanna! Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord; That bringeth the kingdom of our father David; Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest.

Luke 19:34-37 IV (KJV) – And they brought him to Jesus; and they cast their garments upon the colt, and they set Jesus thereon. And as he went, they spread their clothes in the way. And when he was come nigh, even now at the descent of the mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice, and praise God with a loud voice, for all the mighty works that they had seen; Saying, Blessed is the King who cometh in the name of the Lord, peace in heaven, and glory in the highest!

John 12:12-16 IV (KJV) – On the next day much people that were come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, took branches of palm trees, and went forth to meet him, and cried, Hosanna; Blessed is the King of Israel that cometh in the name of the Lord. And Jesus, when he had sent two of his disciples and got a young ass, sat thereon; as it is written, Fear not, daughter of Sion; behold, thy King cometh, sitting on an ass’s colt. These things understood not his disciples at the first; but when Jesus was glorified, then remembered they that these things were written of him, and that they had done these things unto him.

From Strong’s Concordance we learn that the word Hosanna means “Oh, save now!” or “Please save!”  In fact, according to this same reference, in Hebrew it expresses intense emotion, coming from two Hebrew roots meaning, “Save now!” and “Save I pray!”  Should not this then be our cry today? Our robes too are stained with sin, the very sin and suffering Jesus came to take upon Himself by becoming a ransom for us.  He gave His life for each of us even when we were yet in our sins, and He did so that we might have everlasting life.  Therefore, in casting down our robes before the Lord, we do so that He might ride triumphant over them, that He may gain victory over them and all they represent.

I Corinthians 15:53-58 IV (KJV) – For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.

In doing so, we acknowledge both His Lordship over our lives as well as His ability to take away our sins and to nail them to the cross of His sufferings.

Colossians 2:13-15 IV (KJV) – And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it.

Remember, Jesus became poor that we might become rich in Him through receiving eternal life in His kingdom.

 II Corinthians 8:9 IV (KJV) – For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.

So may we too cry Hosanna, Oh save! Please save! in the hope of the redemption of our bodies. Then, when He gives unto each of us white robes of righteousness, we may cry out aloud together, “Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.”  For now we call unto Him for salvation.  Then we will ascribe unto Him salvation.  Then we shall return unto Him that which He has given unto us, even His own righteousness.  Then we will join together in praising Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, by casting down our crowns before Him, saying worthy is the Lamb that was slain (cf. Mark 11:1-13 with Revelation 7:9-10 in light of Exodus 22:25-27 and Deuteronomy 24:10-13).

Revelation 5:9-13 IV (KJV) – And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof; for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; And hast made us unto our God kings and priests; and we shall reign on the earth. And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne, and the beasts, and the elders; and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands; Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honor, and glory, and blessing. And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honor, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb forever and ever.

He who is called THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS shall also call His people by the same name for He has made them righteous.  He has sanctified them with His own blood.

Hebrews 8:10-12 IV (KJV) – For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts; and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people;  And they shall not teach every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord; for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest. For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.

Remember, His name Jesus means our Lord came into the world to save us from our sins, not in our sins.

Matthew 2:2-4 IV (KJV) – Then Joseph, her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privily. But while he thought on there things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a vision, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife; for that which is conceived in her, is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus; for he shall save his people from their sins.

More particularly, Jesus came into the world to take away our sins, and in exchange give unto us the power to live righteously before God as His children.

John 1:11,12 IV (KJV) – He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God; only to them who believe on his name.

I Peter 2:21-24 IV (KJV) – For even hereunto were ye called; because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps;  Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth; Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously; Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness; by whose stripes ye were healed.

I Corinthians 5:17-21 IV (KJV) – Therefore if any man live in Christ, he is a new creature; old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new, and receiveth all the things of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; To wit, that God is in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us; we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God. For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

As prophesied by Isaiah, our salvation, as with a marriage covenant, involves the Lord clothing us with the garments of salvation.

Isaiah 61:10,11 IV (KJV) – I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.  For as the earth bringeth forth her bud, and as the garden causeth the things that are sown in it to spring forth; so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations.

More exactly, it involves an exchange of garments, an exchange in which the Lord takes upon Himself our unrighteousness so that He might clothe us with His righteous.  Reading again from Paul’s writings:

I Corinthians 5:21 IV (KJV) – For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

II Corinthians 8:9 IV (KJV) – For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.

Such an exchange of robes is characteristic of the entering into a covenant relationship.  Consider, for an example, the time in which Jonathan and David entered into a covenant relationship.  Jonathan, the Kings son, stripped himself of his robe and gave it to David:

I Samuel 18:3-4 IV (KJV) – Then Jonathan and David made a covenant, because he loved him as his own soul. And Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was upon him, and gave it to David, and his garments, even to his sword, and to his bow, and to his girdle.

Consider now how in the Book of Revelation we read of the marriage supper of the Lamb, in which His bride, the church, receives (is given) new garments by being arrayed (clothed) in fine linen, meaning, her members are clothed in righteousness.

Revelation 19:6-9 IV (KJV) – And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia; for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth. Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor to him; for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white; for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints. And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are thy which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.

This is an important revelation, especially when taken in light of Jesus’ teaching on this great feast and what the consequences will be for not being clothed in the right garments, meaning the wedding garments (i.e. righteousness), on that day.  Those who come to the feast, but not clothed in the wedding garments, i.e. righteousness, will be bound and cast away into outer darkness.

Matthew 22:1-14 IV (KJV) – And Jesus answered the people again, and spake unto them in parables, and said, The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, who made a marriage for his son. And when the marriage was ready, he sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding; and they would not come. Again he sent forth other servants, saying, Tell them that are bidden, Behold, I have prepared my oxen, and my fatlings have been killed, and my dinner is ready, and all things are prepared; therefore come unto the marriage. But they made light of the servants, and went their ways; one to his farm, another to his merchandise; and the remnant took his servants, and entreated them spitefully, and slew them.  But when the king heard that his servants were dead, he was wroth; and he sent forth his armies, and destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city.  Then said he to his servants, The wedding is ready; but they who were bidden were not worthy. Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage.  So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all, as many as they found, both bad and good; and the wedding was furnished with guests.  But when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man who had not a wedding garment. And he said unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither, not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless. Then said the king unto his servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take and cast him away into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. For many are called, but few chosen; wherefore all do not have on the wedding garment.

Therefore, may we seek an exchange of robes today by crying Hosanna unto the Lamb.  And may we do so by casting our robes before Jesus Christ, giving Him our robes of unrighteousness so that He may triumph over the sin and filthiness in our lives and, in exchange, give to each of us a new robe, a robe of righteousness whereby we may be welcomed into the marriage supper of the Lamb. Remember, Jesus Christ is returning soon in glory and His reward is with Him.

Revelation 19:11-16 IV (KJV) – And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war; His eyes as a flame of fire; and he had on his head many crowns; and a name written, that no man knew, but himself. And he is clothed with a vesture dipped in blood; and his name is called The Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of his mouth proceedeth the word of god, and with it he will smite the nations; and he will rule them with the word of his mouth; and he treadeth the winepress in the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And he hath on a vesture, and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.

Revelation 22:12 IV (KJV) – And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me to give every man according as his work shall be.

God’s richest blessings in Christ Jesus as you declare the worthiness of the Lamb of God today in our worship together.  May each of us truly rely solely upon His merits to save this day and on into eternity.  Hosanna.  Glory to Him who comes in the name of the Lord.

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