It has come to my realization recently the large role that clothes have in the Gospel.

Of all things--clothes. Throughout the Bible they represent God's provision, as well as our sanctification and glorification. It starts right after the Fall. In Eden, Adam and Eve are in perfect communion with God and each other, and they are naked: completely naked and vulnerable and completely okay with it. They are secure in themselves and in who they are with God, so they were "naked, but felt no shame" (Gen 2.25). After they sinned, they felt shame at their nakedness, and tied together some fig leaves to cover up their shame. After God rebukes them, He "made clothing from animal skins for Adam and his wife" (3.21). God provides for them, covering them with quality clothes to replace the hasty and insufficient ones they had tried to make themselves. When we try to cover up our sins ourselves, it proves insufficient. We may try to lie, ignore it, or cover it up somehow, but these will not last. Leaves dry up and fade away, but animal skin--that's tough, durable. The kindness God shows in covering up our sin is everlasting. The body and blood of the Lamb does not dry up or fade away. (Also, note Deut. 8:4, which tells us that the clothes of the Israelites did not wear out after 40 years of wandering in the desert.) In Ezekiel 16, God takes the poor, bloodied orphan off the street, raises her and helps her thrive. He gives her the finest of clothing, jewelry, and food. "I dressed you up in my splendor and perfected your beauty, says the Sovereign Lord" (16.14). The clothing God gives us goes far beyond just covering up. He dresses us up in his splendor, makes us into something really beautiful. He makes us look goood. God perfects our beauty, makes real all the potential we have as beings created in His image. That's pretty amazing. Matthew 22 tells the parable of the wedding feast (which symbolizes Heaven). The King invites many to come, but they all ignore him and refuse. He tells his servants to go out into the streets "invite everyone you see" (22.9). So many come in, good and bad alike, and the banquet hall was filled. In verses 11-13, the King noticed a man who wasn't wearing the proper clothes for a wedding (which would have been provided for him, according to custom). The man had no reply when the King asked him why he wasn't dressed appropriately. So the King had him thrown out into the darkness, "where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth" (22:13). This man was given the clothes of righteousness to wear, but he refused to put them on. We must choose to put them on. The invitation is open, and we are provided with all we need, but we must prepare ourselves for eternal life at the King's banquet. Galatians 3:27 tells us "And all who have been united with Christ in baptism have put on the character of Christ, like putting on new clothes." The character of Christ has been thrust upon us. This character is perfect in every way: righteousness, truth, love, joy, peace, etc. Only those who have been united with Christ through baptism (the symbolism of the death of the old life, and the resurrection of the new life with Christ) get to put on these new clothes of the character of Christ. Revelation 19 is a song of praise to God, because the end has come, and the wedding (the perfect unification) of the Lamb and his bride (the Church) has come. Verses 7-8 say "For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready. Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear." Again, the clothes are freely given. But the bride must prepare herself. Also at the end of Revelation, verse 22.14, it says, "Blessed are those who wash their robes. They will be permitted to enter through the gates of the city and eat the fruit from the tree of life." There are many other instances, in Revelation especially, of pure, white clothes representing righteousness, but I'm tired.

Putting on clothes is a process. So is washing them. It can be hard work. But the reward, that will make it so worth it. I can't really imagine it, I'm just typing words and trying to wrap my mind around it. Maybe this all doesn't mean anything other than God likes clothes, but I think there's definitely something we can draw from this. We have been given these clothes, this righteousness of Christ imputed to us, that we may enter eternal life. What are we going to do with them?