Cleansing

Verlyn Verbrugge

READ : 1 John 1:5-10

He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (v. 9 NASB)

Clark was explaining to me his view of forgiveness. “Sin,” he said, “is like pounding nails into a board, and forgiveness is pulling out those nails. But you still see the holes.” That view seemed to give him the right to hold a grudge.

This is not a picture the Bible uses to describe either God’s forgiveness or ours. They are related (see Matthew 6:12, 13-15). In the Bible’s picture, sin is like a repulsive, filthy garment (see Isaiah 64:6; Zechariah 3:3). In his forgiveness, God takes our garments and washes them clean. When you look at them after washday, you would never know they were ever dirty; they are spotless and sparkling white. Sins are “washed away” (Acts 22:16).

An amazing miracle takes place. Nothing washed in blood comes out pure white; blood, after all, stains. But in God’s forgiveness, he washes us in the “blood of Jesus His Son” and so “cleanses us from all sin” (1 John 1:7 NASB). And the Bible’s description of the saints around the heavenly throne in Revelation says that they “have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb” (Revelation 7:14 NIV).

PRAYER

Thank you, God, for enabling us to appear before you spotless by being washed clean in the blood of the Lamb.