Jesus Doesn’t Hand Out Dirty Underwear

[From the archives.]


One of my favorite hymns is Elisha A. Hoffman’s “Are You Washed In The Blood”:

Have you been to Jesus for the cleansing power?
Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?
Are you fully trusting in His grace this hour?
Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?

Are you washed in the blood,
In the soul cleansing blood of the Lamb?
Are your garments spotless? Are they white as snow?
Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?

The great thing about this hymn is that it is squarely based on Scripture:

They have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. (Revelation 7:14.)

This is a great image, showing how Old Testament promises are fulfilled in Jesus. Old Testament priests needed the blood of animal sacrifices sprinkled on their robes in order for them and their clothing to be consecrated for God’s service. (Exodus 29:21.) Jesus, of course, is the ultimate blood sacrifice, the one we rely on to consecrate us to God.

Some Christians read Revelation 7 and readily agree that they are robed in Christ’s righteousness, covered with the blood of the Lamb, but they think that if anyone – God included – looked beneath those robes they’d see dirty underwear.

Not true.

Made Brand New, Through And Through

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! (2 Corinthians 5:17.)

For those of us in Christ, those of us who are in God’s family, our newness is now, the new creation already come. Our old self is gone, and we have been remade.

But what about the imagery of merely wearing white robes in Revelation 7? That’s just it. Notice that those robes are white and spotless. They don’t have bloody splotches on them as evidence of sprinkling, as in Exodus. No, they have been washed, not sprinkled, with Christ’s blood, and they are spotlessly white.

Jesus’ sacrifice on our behalf doesn’t leave spots because it is complete and eternal. As the writer of Hebrews put it:

We have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, and since that time he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool. For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy. (Hebrews 10:10-14.)

Made perfect forever by his one sacrifice. And we get to be there with him:

God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus. (Ephesians 2:6.)

God has already raised us up. He has already seated us with Jesus in heaven. He has already given us those spotless robes.

And you? You don’t have dirty underwear on beneath those robes. You are new and perfect and clean to the core. That’s what Jesus has done for everyone who belongs to him.



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8 Responses to Jesus Doesn’t Hand Out Dirty Underwear

  1. patbadstibner says:

    We are working so hard to sweat out our righteousness n salvation, while Christ is going “Here hold up, place one arm in, now the other one, , now see how it feels, walk in it, now run in this tailor made, custom fitted, white coat I had made just for you. That just like the gold coat they give away for the Hall Of Famers in that sport with the oblong mall, now marks your indenity. Yet, unlike those that got the gold coat because of their performance n because they were winners, I’m giving you this coat because of my performance n because you have accepted that at living by the rules of this game your a loser.”

    Also, one of my favorite hymns n topics
    Thanks Tim.

  2. This is something I keep needing to hear. I was shamed so many times that I came to believe it was part of me. Jesus is so gentle, so kind. Thank you, Tim. Reminds me of that lovely song ‘…in royal robes I don’t deserve, I live to serve your majesty.’

  3. Pastor Bob says:

    There’s a new name written down in glory, and it’s mine, and it’s mine….
    With my sins forgiven, I am bound for heaven, ever more to reign!

    Enjoy the weekend!
    (Arlington is very close for me)

  4. “Jesus’ sacrifice on our behalf doesn’t leave spots because it is complete and eternal.” What a blessing to be reminded of this! Thank you, friend!

  5. I think this is so hard to accept, at least I know it’s hard for me, because it is always easy to look at my faults and sins and doubt that I’m really pure white. It’s the struggle between focusing on what I’m doing and have done or what Christ has done. This is a good reminder, it’s still tough, but good to get reminded of where our focus should be.

    • Tim says:

      I recently heard in a sermon that living in grace is hard because we are so inclined to want to run back to the law and be told what to do. But as you say, our focus needs to be on Jesus and what he has done and is doing. It’s a much clearer focus when I do that too.

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