When my sisters and I were children, each year for Easter Sunday we’d get brand new dress clothes. While that’s a nice memory now, back then, it was my least favorite Easter tradition. Clothes by themselves were not considered a gift by me, let alone stuffy, itchy, restrictive, don’t get them dirty Easter Sunday clothes. I don’t remember whether Mom ever told us why we had to have new dress clothes for Easter or whether it was just a tradition. But on reflection now, it makes great sense.
When Jesus died on the cross, His clothes had been stripped from Him, and soldiers gambled to take ownership of them. Jesus died essentially naked, beaten, broken, humbled, and in as undignified a manner as possible. When Nicodemus was given Christ’s corpse, he and some of the women who’d been at the foot of the cross went to work wrapping Jesus in ointments, spices, and graveclothes. But they had to do a very rushed job because the Jewish Sabbath (Shabbat) began at Sundown on Friday and there was little time to prepare Jesus. This is why the ladies were going to Christ’s grave on Sunday morning—to finish funeral preparations. And as most will know, when they arrived, they found Jesus’ tomb empty. Upon examination, those graveclothes were found neatly folded inside the tomb. But when Mary Magdalene encountered Jesus, He was clothed. Did you ever stop to consider where those Easter clothes for Christ came from? Jesus arose from the dead and wore new clothes.
How fitting then, that my siblings and I be outfitted with new clothes as a symbolic action attesting to the fact that through Christ’s death, we are called to put off our old sinful selves and by Christ’s resurrection we are empowered to put on new, eternal, and abundant life. New clothing is often attested to having powerful significance throughout the Scriptures. But to be robed in the righteousness of Christ, this is the lesson of my Mom’s tradition. Not only were those Easter clothes new each year, but as dress clothes, back in those days, we called them our Sunday best.
I am a lot of years away from my childhood now, but I have placed my faith in Jesus Christ, and that means that through Christ I am a new creation, I hope you are too.
Second Corinthians 5:17 (New International Version) says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”
And Isaiah 61:10 (NIV) states, “I delight greatly in the Lord; my soul rejoices in my God.
For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of his righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.”
I hope that every Easter, no, every day finds you in the new garments and abundant holy life that Christ offers. God bless you!
Contact Pastor Lamb at firstname.lastname@example.org.