You’re familiar with “Murphy’s Law,” right? “Whatever can go wrong, will go wrong.” I’ve definitely discovered that’s true regarding stains on my shirt. If I’m eating chili dogs or chocolate ice cream, I have to be extra careful, because I guarantee you that otherwise I’ll end up with some on my shirt.
Today’s title has a double meaning. We have a problem: There’s a stain on our souls. It’s been there since our first Parents made one very bad decision. They chose to disobey the Lord’s instruction, and that one bad choice has had repercussions on all their children ever since. I don’t exactly know why, since the Bible never really lays out the ins and outs, but somehow they passed a sinful nature down to us. I don't for one moment believe that we’re punished for the sin of Adam. But we’re affected by it. We have within us a desire to turn away from God and do things our way instead of his way.
And that leaves a stain, just like my bad decision to be careless results in a stained shirt. But the consequences of this are a bit more dire than a stern look from my wife. God cannot let sin into his presence without punishing it. God and sin are mortal enemies of each other. If there’s a stain of sin on your soul, then that has to be cleaned off before you can stand before him, which we all will someday. That stain has got to come out somehow.
So how can we get it out? How do you cleanse a soul? Well, people have all types of solutions (both in the problem sense and in the laundry sense). They try to make up for it with good deeds. But the problem is that the prophet Isaiah tells us that our righteous acts are like filthy rags before him, literally they are menstrual cloths. If that’s how God sees your good deeds, then how can your good deeds make up for the really bad stuff?
Others try religious rituals. They pray five times a day, or they give to the church, or they make sacrifices. But that’s described in today’s verse. It’s people trying to cleanse themselves. They use all types of “soap” and “cleansing powder.” And when they’re done, they see (if they’re honest) that the stain remains.
But the Bible tells us that there is a way to cleanse the soul, to get rid of the stain. But it’s the only one. There’s only one solution, both to our problem and to get the stain out.
The Bible tells us that the blood of Jesus the Son can cleanse us from every sin. Every type of sin, and every sin in our lives. Is it the physical blood that Jesus shed 2000 years ago that does the trick? No, that blood didn’t have any mystical or magical properties. If you had a time machine and went back to the cross and saved some of the blood and put it under a microscope, you wouldn’t see anything unusual.
No, when the Bible is referring to the “blood” of Jesus, it’s a way of referring to the violent death he experienced on the cross. We talk about it this way even today: If we say that “blood will be spilled,” we’re talking about someone killing someone else. It doesn’t mean that I cut myself.
But that’s the sense in which his blood cleanses us. He paid the debt we owed. He redeemed us (bought us back) by his blood. When we place our faith in him and receive him as our Boss and Savior, his blood cleanses us. The stain is lifted—for all time—and we’re clean before God. Now and for all time.
If this is something you’ve already known and experienced, then take a moment to thank him for what he’s done for you. If you haven’t, here’s some more reading on the subject Don’t wait, please.
Lord Jesus, nothing can wash away my sin, only your blood. Nothing can make me whole again, nothing but your blood. How precious is the flow, that makes me white as snow!
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