Lord Jesus being the light and life, blesses all who repose their faith in Him as the Redeemer with new life and the Holy Spirit then guides one to walk in the name and authority of the Son of God. Not only is the right to pray and ask in His name is given, but through the process of daily transformation into His likeness, one becomes a blessing for others also. But what is getting fully clothed in Lord Jesus by putting Him on?
Leviticus 8 provides details of anointing of Aaron and his sons as High Priest and priests respectively. The whole ceremony started with ritual cleansing through washing with water, putting on of specific clothes earmarked for each, anointing with the anointing oil on the head and putting on the turban and hats on the head. This was followed by offering of sacrifices and sprinkling of blood on the altar and application on Aaron and his sons’ earlobes and on the clothes to sanctify them for the priestly service. All these ceremonies were carried out in the presence of all the people. Any service that God assigns us is preceded by a proper preparation and dressing up of the concerned. Adam and Eve were specifically created for a close relationship with God and as such were prepared for both the spiritual and material realm
Man is created to be ‘a little lower than the angels, and You (God) have crowned him with glory and honor. You have made him to have dominion over the works of Your (God’s) hands; You have put all things under his feet’ (Psalm 8:4-5). After sin entered their lives, Adam and Eve lost all this special status and all that was on the earth, was affected by the fall. Both Adam and Eve were provided eyes to see at creation but their eyes to their altered state after sin were opened and they realized their naked state and covered themselves with leaves. Before this, though they were aware of their state, since there was no evil in them, they were neither afraid of being before God nor of each other in that state.
Before expelling them, LORD God made ‘tunics/garments of skin, and clothed them’ (Genesis 3:21). It is believed by many that God Himself caused animal sacrifice to clothe them with animal skin. Clothing generally represent the nature of a person and are the first evidence of their inner being. When Adam did not find a suitable ‘helpmeet’ for himself among the animals, how could animal skin be suitable covering for their bodies? The two were created to meet God daily and God being a Spirit could only be approached in the spiritual realm but after the fall this direct contact was barred for them. Only God could communicate with mankind when He desired but man could not.
The skin coverings were for different purposes, first, the godly glory that was breathed into man could not be displayed in the fallen state and that was covered by this new skin; second, the new skin barred their movement across material barriers. Lord Jesus after His resurrection appeared to the disciples when they were in the locked room and showed them His hands and side bearing the wounds of crucifiction (John 20:19-20). The new body that He was with, could transcend material barriers, the state that Adam and Eve were before the fall and we will be given in new life. Third, In the fallen state of the nature they needed protection from the vagaries of weather and this new skin provided that. And lastly, they needed protection from each other to cover and hide their emotional state to escape exploitation.
Apostle Paul cautions all believers to ‘make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts’ and this is done by putting on the Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 13:14). The skin covering did not protect from lusts of the flesh but provided a cover for the emotional state. When we change into our new life in the Lord, we are equipped to control our desires and walk in His righteousness on the way that He has opened for us to live above sin.
Meaning of putting on Lord Jesus – Once Aaron was chosen and anointed as the High Priest, his life changed in every way through putting on of the appointed clothing. The new dress code set him apart from others and only he was the chosen one to represent all Israelites before God. He was no longer dependent on his own resources but his portion was the LORD God who would meet all his needs through the offerings from the people. But he was prohibited to even to mourn for his two sons Nadab and Abihu who died for a procedural violation in the Temple (Leviticus 10:6-7). There were various other restrictions on him for his daily living, for he was chosen by the LORD for His service and be His representative before the people
The only fully recorded prayer of Lord Jesus sought oneness of all believers among themselves as also with God the Father and God the Son (John 17:21-22). The Son of God made a declaration to the Father in heaven, ‘And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they be one just as We are one’. This spiritual oneness is only possible when we receive a new covering and the old one is removed. The glory that He has given to the believers does two things, first, the old spiritual covering gets removed and second, we are now enabled to display and walk in that new blessed state. After surrendering ourselves to Lord Jesus as our Savior, we are rendered to be ‘a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you’ (1 Peter 2:9-10). The High Priest was assigned a new role and so are we but for this we put on Lord Jesus Christ as our new covering. The clothes define the nature and choice of the wearer so our new identity comes from the Lord and His character and we follow His way.
John the Baptist defined the Lord as ‘Agnus Dei’, the ‘Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world’ (John 1:29). We are declared sinless before God when we accept this blessing through faith in the Son of God, failing which we are still destined to our fate as a sinner. Our new role as His High Priest is to proclaim this to others and bring them into this blessed state (Matthew 28:19-20). Lord Jesus was manifested in the form of man, ‘that He might destroy the works of the devil’ (1 John 3:8). We as His representatives are not to be in league with the devil in doing evil but to seek the power of the Holy Spirit, who dwells in us, to refrain from evil.
First He makes us as part of family (John 1:12) and then He becomes our ‘Advocate with the Father’ to plead our petitions before Him (1 John 2:1). We have the Holy Spirit in us who also intercedes for us and we imitate them by becoming intercessors for others to lead them into salvation (Romans 8:26). Apostle Paul urges all believers to put on the weapons of God and the protective gear in the ‘shield of faith, with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one’ (Ephesians 6:16). King David declared, ‘You, O LORD, are a shield for me, my glory’ (Psalm 3:3). When we put on Lord Jesus, He becomes our shield and our glory who strengthens us and protects us from the devil. In Lord Jesus ‘was life, and the life was the light of men’ (John 1:4) and once we join unto Him this light makes us the ‘light of the world’ and we are equipped to fight the forces of darkness for we put on His nature, righteousness and authority. He becomes our protection and through trusting in Him every day we give Him glory through our obedience and He ensures His Divine presence always with us. It is then that the work of the Holy Spirit starts in us to transform us into His image and likeness and our words, thoughts and actions start confirming to His will and living for His pleasure.
Preparation required for this change – The High Priest separated himself from everything one week before his once a year entry into the most holy place and after offering sin offerings for himself and then for all the people, could he enter into the presence of God. Any error would result in immediate death and he went in with a string of bells tied to his robe, the sound of which would assure the priests outside of his well being. Before the Son of God was offered up on the cross as our atoning sacrifice, he was anointed twice. First, in Simon the Pharisee’s house a ‘woman who was a sinner’ brought an alabaster flask of fragrant oil (Luke 7:38). She washed His feet with her tears, wiped them with her hair and anointed them with the fragrant oil. Another instance of anointing occurred in Bethany, where Mary, Lazarus’ sister, anointed the feet of Lord Jesus with a very expensive oil and wiped them with her hair (John 12:1-8). Lord Jesus came to her rescue from criticism for wastage of such expensive oil and said that ‘she has kept this for the day of My burial’.
Lord Jesus termed this as preparation for His crucifixion and burial for on the day of crucifixion there would not be enough time for elaborate preparations for that. Moses first washed Aaron and his sons with water to cleanse them from the worldly sins to get them ready for the LORD’s service and the Son of God was prepared through anointing for His task of being sacrificial ‘Lamb of God’.
Many people believe that the right foot stores the past and one’s relationship with the world while the left foot is more about internal or self representation for it stores the energy for moral and spiritual grown and understanding. The feet therefore represent good or bad stance of an individual in the world. King Solomon’s advice is, ‘Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways’ (Proverbs 4:26-27). To do this requires daily preparation and self control. Lord Jesus washed the disciples’ feet, including Judas Iscariot, and Apostle Peter’s reluctance to let the Master do this got the reply, ‘If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me’ (John 13:5-10). The disciples had to be prepared for their future role of taking the message of the Gospel to the people. They needed to surrender to His authority and prepare to walk on new ways in His power and without that none of us can have any role in His kingdom work.
Prophet Isaiah received this revelation from the LORD about God’s messengers, ‘How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who proclaims peace, who brings glad tidings of good things, who proclaims salvation’ (Isaiah 52:7). This is an onerous responsibility given to all believers. The beautiful feet represent partnering with God for the salvation of mankind by taking to them the good news of salvation in Christ Jesus. The feet mean activity, motion and progress and only those have such feet, which are actively moving in the mission of preaching the Gospel. We first wash our feet off of worldly ways, surrender to the control and guidance of the Holy Spirit and the process of putting on Lord Jesus Christ fully continues daily through internal spiritual transformation. Without this preparation and protection we can neither proceed not bear much fruit.
All believers are sanctified for the heavenly kingdom and the indwelling Holy Spirit starts and continues the process of daily transformation into the likeness and image of the Son of God. Our thoughts, words and deeds then start reflecting the life of Lord Jesus to become a blessing for others. But for this we are required to first come under His shadow and wings by surrendering our individual being. This surrendering is putting on Lord Jesus!