I grew up in hand-me-downs and nobody was more proud than I when I could put on those new hand-me-downs and know I was really well dressed.
My clothes came from a wealthy family so they breathed quality, looked quality and felt quality. They were quality even when they were mostly too large and flopped all around me.
Oddly, I never claimed them as mine. I wore them but I knew they were not really mine.
It is comforting to know that Jesus came dressed in hand-me-downs and he lived in them all his life.
He left his real clothes in heaven where they were pure white light and rainbow and when he was born he was put into the clothing of his day.
He had laid aside his splendour and took upon himself the likeness of man. And not just man, but the likeness of sinful man. He was ‘a secret purpose framed from the very beginning to bring us to our destined glory’ so when Adam avoided the responsibility of it, Jesus became Adam the Second, head of the human race, made in the image of God. 1st Corinthians 2:7, 15:45 and Colossians 1:15.
We know he was not wearing clothes that were his because the disciples glimpsed the clothing he would one day wear when they saw him wearing brilliant, shining white on the Mount of Transfiguration. He was still the Jesus they knew but his clothes were so white they were dazzling.
Jesus confirmed the Transfiguration just before he died, when he prayed, ‘Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory which I had with you before the world began.’ (John 17:5)
Until then, he wore hand-me-downs and we are also dressed in hand-me-downs until Jesus gives us the same clothing as Moses and Elijah wore on the Mount of Transfiguration with Jesus.