Jesus wore the breastplate of judgment as our great high priest. He brought the perfect sacrifice on our behalf in the very presence of God. The veil separating God from man has been torn in half and Jesus entered in wearing our names on His heart. The sacrifice was for our sins and the barrier has been broken. With the truth of Christ’s sacrificial act on our behalf we have been giving breastplates to wear also. These breastplates protect us from the onslaughts of the enemy. Our two breastplates are the breastplate of “faith and love” and the breastplate of “righteousness.” The cross of Jesus is at the center of my courage in the battles of life. I put on the breastplate of faith when I trust in what Christ has done for me on the cross. He paid the penalty. He made the sacrifice to expunge my sins from the records. He put my sins upon his breast and entered into the presence of God with the ultimate sacrifice. For me (and you!) He lived! For me (and you!), He died. There is no greater love than this. His love shields me and protects me from all harm. Though there is sorrow for a time, I know the end result. Job didn’t know! But he wore the breastplate of faith: “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in Him…naked came I into the world…naked from it I will go… the Lord gives and the Lord takes away…blessed be the name of the Lord.”

Since God’s deep love for us (John 3:16) brought Christ’s sacrifice for our sins on the cross, I’ve been made clean and through faith I’m made whole and I’m made righteous in the eyes of God. The cross is the center of my courage. Faith is the secret of my courage. Trusting God’s promises regardless of life’s situations is the best protection we can ever find. In 1 John 5:13 we read, “I have written these things to you who believe (wear the breastplate of faith and love) in Jesus Christ, so that you will know (with absolute certainty) that you have everlasting life.” God’s love is the substance of my courage. With Christ’s love, our names on his breast, we have no fear! “Perfect love casts out fear.” “If God is for us (and He is!), who can stand against us?” No one!

His perfect righteousness is the source of all my courage. The breastplate of righteousness is not my own righteousness. It’s His! When Jesus bore our sins on his heart into the presence of God he became sin. Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 5:21, “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin…” But there is more to that verse. The result of Christ’s wearing the breastplate of judgment on our behalf is “…so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” The breastplate we were, righteousness, is not our own righteousness which is at best questionable, but it’s His perfect righteousness. As the sky turned black with Jesus on the cross as payment for our sin, His righteousness was being credited to our accounts. As our sins were credited to Christ, his righteousness was credited to us. This righteous standing is the source of all righteous living. It’s out of who we are in Christ that we stand against the temptations, trials, struggles and sufferings that come against us in life. Our courage has its source in who we are! When we have faith in Christ’s sacrifice on our behalf, motivated out of God’s love for us, we put on the breastplate of righteousness.