February 12: In the Path of Righteousness
Aaron’s priestly preparation for entering the presence of God also included what is called: Putting on Righteousness.“He is to put on the sacred linen tunic, with linen undergarment next to his body”(Lev. 16:4). This second preparation corresponds to the New Testament admonition, “put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness”(Eph. 4:24). God tells us to be clothed with our new righteousness and holiness in Him. In Ephesians 6:11-20, St Paul talks about putting on “the full armor of God”(v v11,13). I believe this analogy presents the believer preparing for prayer. See verses 18-20.
Before we pray, we need to be wearing the helmet of salvation (v. 17). This refers to our atonement: being saved by the blood of Jesus Christ and being cleansed from our sins. We are also to put on the breastplate of righteousness (v. 14). A breastplate protects the heart and other precious organs. With this analogy God is saying, “I want you to be pure in the most vital areas of your life.”We can do that only by appropriating the righteousness of Christ through faith. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God (2 Cor. 5:21).
We also need to live in that righteousness doing what is right by keeping in step with the Spirit of God, a free gift of God, in us (see Gal. 5:25). When we put on God’s righteousness we can rejoice before the Lord: “I delight greatly in the Lord. My soul rejoices in my God. For He has clothed me with garment of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and a bride adorns herself with her jewels”(Isaiah 61: 10). Note: We come into God’s presence only through the righteousness of Christ. The Father sees us through Christ for He paid for us to be accepted by the Father and to be reinstated as children of His kingdom.
Let’s pray: Father, thank you for clothing me, covering and protecting me in the righteousness of your Son, Jesus. I rejoice in the priestly clothing you have given me, in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Today’s reading: Leviticus 13; Matthew 26:26-50
Christ Has Made Us the Righteousness of God.