16 The Lord said:
Because the daughters of Zion are haughty
and walk with outstretched necks,
glancing wantonly with their eyes,
mincing along as they go,
tinkling with their feet;
17 the Lord will afflict with scabs
the heads of the daughters of Zion,
and the Lord will lay bare their secret parts.
18 On that day the Lord will take away the finery of the anklets, the headbands, and the crescents; 19the pendants, the bracelets, and the scarves; 20the head-dresses, the armlets, the sashes, the perfume boxes, and the amulets; 21the signet rings and nose-rings; 22the festal robes, the mantles, the cloaks, and the handbags; 23the garments of gauze, the linen garments, the turbans, and the veils.
24 Instead of perfume there will be a stench;
and instead of a sash, a rope;
and instead of well-arranged hair, baldness;
and instead of a rich robe, a binding of sackcloth;
instead of beauty, shame.* (Isaiah 3:16-24)
The cross strips away all pride and all the finery that is brought before God. Yet through grace, He does not leave the shamed naked. We groan, longing to be clothed. Our old self will try to cover our naked bodies with hours of reading the bible, attending church every week and endless pious activity and yet, these are only fig leaves.
28And why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, 29yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. 30But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? (Matthew 6:28-30)
Jesus came and lived a life with robes of righteousness and through the cross he offers this robe to the exposed. Not only is our perceived ‘Sunday best’ stripped away, we are sufficiently covered before God. Live in the freedom that the perfection you so desire has already been achieved, groan no more. You are clothed in sanctification but perceive the humbling sackcloth around you, it is not the work of your hand. Hear the Gospel and be free to love God and love your neighbour. There is no condemnation for you here.