A Short Study of Isaiah 61:10
“He hath covered me with the robe of righteousness.”
A robe or garment is often used in Scripture to portray righteousness.
“And to her (the bride) was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.” (Revelation 19:8)
When Adam and Eve sinned and “knew they were naked” (Genesis 3:7), they tried to cover their shame by making fig-leaf aprons. Their actions pictured man’s vain attempts to establish a righteousness for himself, but righteousness can only be established by the LORD, otherwise the sinner will remain “naked.” Nakedness sets forth man’s unrighteousness and his exposure to wrath. The Laodiceans were “wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked,” and were told they needed “white raiment, that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear.” (Revelation 3:17-18)
Thankfully, the LORD came to the rescue of our fallen parents. He provided for their acceptance, but what did that require? In order for them to be covered, animals had to DIE and be skinned and then God robed Adam and Eve with those skins.
We read that Christ is made of God to be the righteousness of His elect (1st Corinthians 1:30). A perfect standing before divine justice has already been established by the Saviour for all of His people, but how was that accomplished? Was it by His life of exemplary obedience? Certainly our Lord Jesus lived perfectly in this world, but His life did not bring in righteousness any more than the life of the animals provided garments for Adam and Eve. That which was necessary in both cases was DEATH. Daniel said Messiah would “finish the transgression, make an end of sins, make reconciliation for iniquity, and bring in everlasting righteousness” (Daniel 9:24) and He would accomplish those things by being “cut off” (verse 26), that is, put to DEATH. The Apostle Paul believed righteousness was established by the substitutionary, justice-satisfying cross-death of Christ, and so He wrote these words. “I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law then Christ is DEAD in vain.” (Galatians 2:21)