He will remove his people’s disgrace from all the earth.
Few things in life are more embarrassing than showing up to the right event wearing the wrong clothes. I can remember reporting to the starting line of my first cross country race in grade school wearing blue jeans. Needless to say, the race didn’t go well. Or maybe it’s a mistake as innocent as unwittingly wearing a polo and khakis to a meeting that’s definitely suits and ties. (I’ve done that, too.) When this sort of thing happens, you know what it feels like to stick out like a sore thumb.
In Jesus’ parable of the great banquet, someone shows up without wedding clothes. The wedding crasher is quickly identified and escorted from the banquet in disgrace.
And it makes a person wonder, “Will that ever be me? When I try to stand before God, will it be determined that I’m a wedding crasher? Will the selfish choices that I’ve made, the uncaring attitudes of my heart, finally come home to roost? Will the sins that I’ve managed to conceal my whole life be loudly called out, by the all-seeing eyes of God? Will I be the one ushered out of the banquet in disgrace?”
Take heart. The wedding crasher in Jesus’ parable was meant to illustrate someone who tries to stand in the presence of God while at the same time ignoring and rejecting the Son sent from God to save the world.
Simply put your trust in him. Jesus has come into the world not to call us out in disgrace, but to cover our disgrace. That’s why he lived a life of perfect obedience in our place. It’s why he suffered the disgrace of the cross for us. All those who are baptized into Christ have clothed themselves with Christ, wrote the apostle Paul. Our sins are covered by Jesus’ righteousness and perfection. Believe in him, and you will be dressed appropriately at the great banquet.
Prayer: (Christian Worship: A Lutheran Hymnal – 376)
Jesus, your blood and righteousness,
My beauty are, my glorious dress.
Midst flaming worlds in these arrayed,
With joy shall I lift up my head. Amen.