The Breastplate of Righteousness
Open Your Bible
Ephesians 6:10-20, Romans 3:22-26, Isaiah 61:1-11, 2 Corinthians 5:17-21
Worn like a jacket, the soldier’s breastplate was made from leather, along with iron or bronze. The breastplate protected the soldier’s shoulders and chest. Like the breastplate protects one’s most vital organs, God’s righteousness lived out protects believers from false accusations and attack.
Recently, my family completed an addition to the back of our 100-year-old craftsman home. Construction noise and thin layers of sawdust became a constant in our lives. Our backyard, once a play area full of grass and soft clover, became a mudscape of rocks and tire tracks, full of scattered water bottles and sharp nails, surrounded by a rotting fence that threatened to fall in. After nine months of neglect, the farthest corners of the yard had grown waist-high weeds, so tangled I couldn’t even dig them out with a shovel. The new addition to the house shined with brand new paint and custom glass. But our yard was a wreck.
Then, our contractor brought in a small tractor to clear and grade the construction site. The process took just a few hours. Under the weight of the tractor tires and with the help of a digger, the yard became a clean, flat dirt canvas again.
Occasionally, I can believe that Jesus’s work on the cross is like that tractor equipment. By his wounds, our lives are salvaged and prepared, once more, as fertile ground. But Scripture is quite clear that while Jesus did save us from our sins, he didn’t only save us from our sins. That would be the equivalent of clearing a construction site, and then washing your hands and saying, “Good luck making this beautiful!”
Christ doesn’t just wipe away the old; He fills the garden with abundant new life—His life! His righteousness, so that I stand, rich and full in the presence of God.
The breastplate of righteousness protects me from the accuser’s voice who would tell me that I am no good, that I have done nothing to fill up my life or serve God. The breastplate of righteousness assures me that I can now stand clothed in everything Jesus accomplished.
We didn’t leave our mud pit of a backyard as level ground for long. A skilled landscaper came in, filling the empty space with tender grass, flowering plants, blue paving stones, and string lights, all perfectly designed for our use. And to think, the Lord does the same for the wasteland of my soul. He fills all our empty spaces with the fullness of the Son. Thanks be to God!