Come now, let us settle the matter,’ says the Lord. ‘Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool. (Isaiah 1:18)
This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.
If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us. (1 John 1:5-10)
Do you have an item of clothing hanging in your wardrobe which, whenever you see it, you wonder exactly why you bought it? It may be that it was an impulse buy because you liked the colour, or something that you bought thinking that it would come in useful at some time, or maybe you bought it because it was a good fit, or it was a bargain, or it made you feel good when you put it on, or a variety of many other possible reasons. Whatever it was, the item of clothing spends more of its time simply hanging in the wardrobe than ever being worn, and it might even be that it has never been worn at all.
I have a pair of jeans that hang in my wardrobe. They weren’t an impulse buy exactly; I was out shopping for jeans at the time, but I didn’t intend to buy a pair of jeans that were cream in colour. Yes, cream. They are a good fit, I like them a lot, but I’m not great at wearing a pair of cream trousers. The problem is that when I wear them, which I do, I feel I need to be careful about what I can do in them. They are great for simply sitting in, but they are not great for popping out into the garden and doing a bit of weeding, or baking, or cleaning, or going for a walk in the rain, all activities that I would usually do in a pair of jeans. So it is no surprise that my cream jeans have a stain on them. The stain happened when I was walking in them in the rain and I splashed mud up the back of my legs. I have washed the jeans now several times but the stain is still there, it is hardly visible anymore and does not stop me wearing them, but I know it is there.
We all have stains in our lives which sometimes we feel we cannot get rid of, things that we have done which have spoiled our lives. We may feel that no one else can see these stains anymore, but we still know that they are there. The good news for us as Christians is that we don’t need to live with these stains anymore, for through Jesus’s death and resurrection we can be made new, we can be washed clean of all our stains. And when we are washed by God there are no stains left, they are completely gone and we are clean.
I thank you Father God, that I can be washed clean of all my sin and stains and that through the death and resurrection of your son Jesus Christ I have eternal life with you.
In the Salvation Army Song Book, there is an old hymn by Elisha Albright Hoffman which I have sung many times in the past, the chorus of which says ‘Are you washed in the blood, in the soul-cleansing blood of the lamb? Are your garments spotless? Are they white as snow? Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?’ I found a contemporary version on YouTube which I have included here.