In Sunday school today the question was asked why Jesus will return in a robe of red and not white. No one really had the exact answer. I found scriptures about this but still do not understand. Can you explain this? Thank You!
This is a great question! As you know, when the resurrected Jesus visited the Americas in power and glory, He wore white. Yet the scriptures testify that when He comes again He will instead wear red. “And the Lord shall be red in his apparel, and his garments like Him that treadeth in the wine-vat” (D&C 133:48).
The color red is often associated with war, because it is the shade of blood (see Nahum 2:3 and Revelation 6:4). Here it is no different. When Christ returns, it is as a Man of War meting out long-awaited judgment. Isaiah first introduced this motif of a blood-soaked Savior swooping down to deliver Israel in time of war.
The stains of a winevat (or wine press) are an excellent image for this. Imagine the old “I Love Lucy” episode where she stomps grapes to wine. Now imagine what her clothes would look like afterwards. Or better yet, go get a white sock and fill it with grapes. Tie off the end and start squeezing. Get every last drop of juice out of those grapes. Crush it until all you have is pulp. Then press it some more. Untie the sock and remove the pulp. After it dries (giving wine-stompers time to get back from the fields) ask your mom to clean it for you. Her face (if not yours already) will describe perfectly how thoroughly stained this sock is. There is nothing left but to wear it as a badge of honor.
When our Savior returns, it will be a time of war. And like Enoch and many of the worthies of an older time, the saints will know there is only One who can deliver them. He will search for a hero for His saints, and will find “none to help; and … none to uphold: therefor … [Jesus] will tread down the people in [His] anger, and make them drink in [His] fury, and … bring down their strength to the earth” (Isaiah 63:2-6). Truly this is “the day of vengeance“.
Like your sock, this thorough purging is a badge of honor for our Righteous Judge who is setting things right. Please note that this judgment is not the Final Judgment we refer to when kingdoms are alotted. This is the judgment that precedes the Millennium, that cleanses the earth from telestial wickedness preparatory to its receiving “its paradisiacal glory“. And if the imagery is not clear enough, John the Divine testifies that we are not really dealing with wine at all here. Jesus’ apparel is “a vesture dipped in blood” from defending the saints.
The doctrinal implications from our Lord’s clothes are powerful.
- All judgment and vengeance belong to the Lord.
- In the end, no matter how oppressive this moment is, God wins.
- The Lord hears the distress and pleas of His people.
- The Lord Himself will perform His miracles if no one else can be found.
- Jesus will return some time before Labor Day of whatever year it happens.