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The Jesus Cloak

by Tim O'Hearn

In the first of the Harry Potter books, young Mr. Potter is given a cloak that, when donned, makes the wearer invisible. Christians also have just such a magical cloak. Once they put on this cloak, not only are they invisible, but they are also endowed with certain other special qualities. Paul talks about this cloak in Galatians 3:27, saying, "For as many of you as were baptized into Christ did put on Christ." When we put on the "Jesus Cloak" a number of changes occur.

The Cloak of Invisibility

The first thing that we notice is that we truly become invisible. The people around us no longer see us. "Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works, and glorify your father which is in heaven." (Matt 5:16) If we are wearing the Jesus cloak, they glorify God because they see Him, not us, in our actions. Granted, the cloak doesn't render us immediately invisible to people. After Paul put on Christ, some people thought they saw him, still, but soon came to see only Christ.

But all that heard him were amazed, and said; Is not this he that destroyed them which called on this name in Jerusalem, and came hither for that intent, that he might bring them bound unto the chief priests? But Saul increased the more in strength, and confounded the Jews which dwelt at Damascus, proving that this is very Christ. (Acts 9:21-22)

Not only do we become invisible to other people, we become invisible to God. God knows we are sinners. God must judge sinners. So He goes looking for us to judge us. Because we are wearing the Jesus Cloak, God no longer finds us, because we are invisible. All He can see when He looks at us is Jesus, His son. More particularly, he sees the blood of His son, which has removed all our sin.

Some people talk of the blood "hiding" our sin. The great thing about our cloak is not that our sin is hidden; it no longer exists at all. You can't hide something that has ceased to exist. "But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin." (1 Jn 1:7) When doing our floors, commercials tell us, we don't want a cleanser that just covers up the dirt; we want one that removes it. We don't want an air freshener that just covers up odors; we want one that removes them. So it is with the cleansing of the blood of Christ. We don't want to hide our sins; we want them removed. "As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us." (Ps 103:12)

A Change of Sustenance

When we put on this cloak, we not only disappear; we change. One area of change is what feeds us. There was a Star Trek episode in which some of the crew were somehow exchanged for their counterparts in a "mirror" universe. They could not survive on the food in their new surroundings because the molecules were "backward" to their system. Our own science has accomplished the same thing, having created a sugar substitute that is a basic sugar molecule that our system can not digest because it is backward to our systems. When we are wearing Jesus we are in just such a "Mirror, Mirror" situation. What previously fed us is no longer digestible. "But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof." (Rom 13:14, my italics) When provisioning for our camp-out in this world, we ignore the lusts of the flesh, because we can no longer stomach them.

As with a newborn, we have to learn to eat the new food. We may take a while before the cloak of Jesus has fully changed our systems. "I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able. 3For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?" (1 Cor 3:2-3) There comes a time, however, when we should be getting our sustenance fully from our new food. "For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe." (Heb 5:12-13)

Seeing Through Jesus' Eyes

Years ago there was a Faye Dunaway movie called "The Eyes of Laura Mars." In it the main character "saw" murders as they were happening. As it turns out, she was seeing them through the eyes of the killer, even when he started stalking her. This is how we should be, except we should be looking through the eyes of one who was killed instead of the eyes of a killer. When we look at something, we should be looking through the eyes of Jesus.

To understand what it means to look through the eyes of Jesus, perhaps we ought to see what it is like not to do so.

The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness! (Matt 6:22)

When we look through our own eyes, all we see is darkness. We see sin. "Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin." (2 Pet 2:14) Our own eyes are blind.

Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive: For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them. (Matt 13:13-15)

Paul's conversion (Acts 9) is a parable of how we should be seeing. Paul thought he had clear sight. He thought he knew God's will. He was putting Christians (at that time all being Jewish) in jail in Jerusalem. On his way to Damascus to take more Christians into custody he saw God. When he got up from the ground, "when his eyes were opened, he saw no man: but they led him by the hand, and brought him into Damascus. And he was three days without sight." (Acts 9:8-9) His eyes were opened to the fact that his eyes were blind. A man came and preached to him and his sight was restored. He was immersed to wash away his sins, and after that he saw the word of God clearly. Like Paul, before we follow "the way" of truth, we are blind; we just don't always realize it. Then our eyes are opened. We see what we need to do, and when we do it we begin to see through Jesus' eyes.

What do we see when we look through his eyes? We know what he sees. "For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil." (1 Pet 3:12) When we see through his eyes we see righteousness. We see what is right for us, but of equal importance we see righteousness in others. We don't look for the worst in people, but the best. We also see what we need to do about it. "Behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest." (Jn 4:35) Through Jesus' eyes we see souls searching for the truth we have come to know. We see that we have to act on that vision, and work for the harvest. When we look through his eyes we see all kinds of marvelous things.

The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe. (Eph 1:18-19)

Thinking Jesus' Thoughts

Finally, brethren, when we wear the cloak that is Jesus, we start to think different thoughts.

Paul urged that we have "the mind of Christ." (1 Cor 2:16) What is that mind? He detailed what that was to the believers in Philippi.

Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. (Php 2:5-8)

No longer do we think about ourselves, we put others first. "By this shall all know that ye are my disciples, if you have love one to another." (Jn 13:35) We don't expect others to "give us our due;" we have been sinners who are due nothing but death. Now we are saved, but still are owed nothing. Instead we owe everything. (Rom 8:11-12)

Instead of expecting something from others, our new mind, the mind of Christ, says to give. After all, Christ gave up everything for us. If we wear the Jesus cloak, we will give up for others. But just as Jesus gave it up, only to be exalted above his former status, so we, if we wear him, will be exalted beyond what we could imagine. And all because we put on "the Jesus cloak."