Revelation 7:9-10, 13-14, 17 - After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, "Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!" ... Then one of the elders addressed me, saying, "Who are these, clothed in white robes, and from where have they come?" I said to him, "Sir, you know." And he said to me, "These are the ones coming out of the great tribulation. They have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. ... For the Lamb in the midst of the throne will be their Shepherd, and He will guide them to springs of living water, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes."
Think of the last time you witnessed a Baptism or confirmation. Chances are good that the people involved were wearing white robes. This passage from Revelation is why.
White is a difficult color to wear and keep clean. It shows every stain and spot. In ancient days, particularly, it would have been hard for anybody to use white clothing unless they had servants and money to help keep it in good shape. Poor people would do better to choose a darker shade.
In this passage, though, nobody's worrying about showing stains and spots. Their clothes are white as snow—shining like the sun. Why? Because all of these people "have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb." What in the world does that mean? Blood is not a bleaching agent. Well, unless we're talking about the blood of Jesus, the Lamb of God, who lay down His life on the cross so that we might be forgiven children of God.
That's what the white robes symbolize. Not human effort—none of these people could keep themselves spotless for even a single day. But Jesus can keep them forgiven and clean, because He offered Himself to make them that way—people who are "without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, ... holy and without blemish" (Ephesians 5:27b). And because Jesus has risen from the dead, the book of Hebrews tells us that "He is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them" (Hebrews 7:25).
If you trust in Jesus, you, too, are one of His people, clothed in the white robes of forgiveness and salvation. And whenever you trip and fall into sin, Jesus is there to wash you clean again with the power of His own blood. Whenever you sin, you can call upon Him for help. He will not turn away from you. He will never say, "I don't want you; you've messed up too many times." No, He will draw you close, wash you, and make you whole and clean again—because you belong to Him, and He loves you.
No wonder all the people of God praise Him!
WE PRAY: Dear Lord, draw me close to You and make me clean—every day of my life. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Kari Vo.
1. Do you like doing laundry? Why or why not?
2. "Washed in the blood of the Lamb" is a rather gruesome image. Why do you think God chose it?
3. How does Jesus' everlasting forgiveness comfort and strengthen you?
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