«Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life»(Revelation 22:14, NW).
WE READ in Revelation 22:14: «Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life» (NIV). I wonder, what exactly does «washing my robes» mean? I wonder because I obviously want to have the right to the tree of life, or what is the same, I want to be saved. I like Ellen White’s answer:
The remnant church, with brokenness of heart and earnest faith, will plead for pardon and deliverance through Jesus their Advocate, They are fully conscious of the sinfulness of their lives, they see their weakness and unworthiness, and as they look upon themselves they are ready to despair, The tempter stands by to accuse them . . . He points to their filthy garments, their defective characters. He presents their weakness and folly, their sins of ingratitude, their unlikeness to Christ, which has dishonored their Redeemer. He endeavors to affright the soul with the thought that their case is hopeless, that the stain of their defilement will never be washed away. He hopes to so destroy their faith that they will yield to his temptations, turn from their allegiance to God, and receive the mark of the beast (Counsels for the Church, ch. 65, p. 352).
If I look at myself, I run the risk of getting discouraged in my Christian walk. Why? Because the enemy will do his part to convince me that my robes are dirty, that is, that my character has still not developed in such a way that I look like Christ. My deficiencies make me seem weak and insensitive, like a woman who has dishonored her Redeemer. And yes, of course I am a sinful woman; of course my case is desperate because I can do nothing by myself; of course this whole mental picture fills me with despair. However, I do not want to give Satan the victory; I do not want his accusations to have the last word in this cosmic conflict in which I am immersed. I do not want, in the end, the mark of the beast.
Because of that, this passage in Revelation awakens me, I am awakened to the need to understand that now is the time to «wash my character,» because I want to be part of those who have washed their robes in the blood of the Lamb. Now is when I want to combine divine power with my human effort for eternal life.