We live in a society that places a lot of weight on appearance. Red carpet events devote extra attention to what the stars wear and, at the other end of the spectrum, even those who don’t wear anything are trying to make a statement by how they look. As usual, it is not whether or not you’re going to present an image, but which image are you presenting?
Christians ought to be the most image conscious of all. Our problem isn’t that we want to make a certain appearance too much, it’s that sometimes we want to make the wrong appearance. But for those who have “learned Christ,” we must “put off the old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness” (Ephesians 4:22-24).
All of this is true: we were made in God’s image, we are created after the likeness of God in salvation, and we must put on the new self that God recreated. We can’t create ourselves or make ourselves new, but we can wear the new clothes He got for us.
The Lord’s Table is part of the put off/put on work. We leave our soiled garments of sin and self-righteousness at the cross and we take up the body of the Lord as our own. We identify with Him in His righteous sacrifice and learn to dress in imitation of Him.