Surely we wouldn’t tear a new garment in order to fix an old garment?
Or do we?
John MacArthur has said that garments in the Bible often refer to a person’s character.
Psalms 73:6 (ESV) Therefore pride is their necklace; violence covers them as a garment.
From the verses I’ve read over the last few days about garments or robes I think I would have to say they refer to a person’s standing before God, their spiritual character. These verses explain that better.
Isaiah 64:6 (ESV) We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment. We all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.
Revelation 7:14 (ESV) I said to him, “Sir, you know.” And he said to me, “These are the ones coming out of the great tribulation. They have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
We are unable to make our garments (our character or standing with God) pure and white. Only the Lord can give us new garments.
Zechariah 3:3-5 (ESV)
3 Now Joshua was standing before the angel, clothed with filthy garments.
4 And the angel said to those who were standing before him, “Remove the filthy garments from him.” And to him he said, “Behold, I have taken your iniquity away from you, and I will clothe you with pure vestments.”
5 And I said, “Let them put a clean turban on his head.” So they put a clean turban on his head and clothed him with garments. And the angel of the Lord was standing by.
Now look at the passage in Luke, which is slightly different from the Matthew and Mark accounts.
Luke 5:33-39 (ESV)
33 And they said to him, “The disciples of John fast often and offer prayers, and so do the disciples of the Pharisees, but yours eat and drink.”
34 And Jesus said to them, “Can you make wedding guests fast while the bridegroom is with them?
35 The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast in those days.”
36 He also told them a parable: “No one tears a piece from a new garment and puts it on an old garment. If he does, he will tear the new, and the piece from the new will not match the old.
37 And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. If he does, the new wine will burst the skins and it will be spilled, and the skins will be destroyed.
38 But new wine must be put into fresh wineskins.
39 And no one after drinking old wine desires new, for he says, ‘The old is good.’ ”
Our Bridegroom has provided His bride with new garments of salvation and righteousness.
Isaiah 61:10 (ESV) I will greatly rejoice in the Lord; my soul shall exult in my God, for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation; he has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself like a priest with a beautiful headdress, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.
Revelation 19:7-8 (ESV)
7 Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his Bride has made herself ready;
8 it was granted her to clothe herself with fine linen, bright and pure”— for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints.
Why would we tear our pure, white linen robe to try and fix up our old, torn, filthy and polluted garment?
How do we do that?