Nobody likes to be dirty, except for maybe kids playing in the mud. That feeling of being washed clean is one of the best in the world. Our souls are the same way with our sin. When there is unforgiven sin in our heart, we have that dirty feeling. When our sins are forgiven the feeling of being washed clean is much deeper than any shower can provide. Jesus washes us clean with the blood he shed on the cross.
And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
Before Christ, we were sinners only getting worse. After we came to Christ, we were washed, sanctified, and justified. Think about these three attributes for just a second. Sin dirties our life. Jesus’ blood washes it clean. Before Christ we were on a slow path to death. After Christ, we are cleaned up and the process begins to transform us.
After Christ, we are now growing and being transformed into the image of Christ, that process is called sanctification. It’s an important word because it shows us that God isn’t finished with us when he washes us clean. He continues to work on us, changing us. He cares about our growth and is there to make it happen.
We were also condemned to an eternity of pain and sorrow before Christ. Now with Christ, we are justified. Justification is another word that is important. We are justified in the eyes of God because the wrath of sin has been removed. Think of justification this way: “Just as if I have never sinned.” When we receive the forgiveness that Christ offers, it’s just as if I had never sinned. Salvation is a powerful work that radically changes us. When we are washed clean, some powerful changes take place in us.
Showers are great. No matter how dirty we are, what filth we’ve gotten ourselves into, or how long it’s been since the last bath, we can get completely clean. A little shampoo for the hair, some cleansing cream for the face, a good bar of soap for the rest, and ta da! We’re clean again — as clean as we ever were.
We aren’t obsessed with how dirty we once were. We don’t rush from mirror to mirror, making sure the cleansing succeeded. We know we are clean.
We can be clean spiritually, too.
God promises to make us completely clean on the inside. Psalm 51:7 (KJV) says,
“Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.”
We can ask God to make us clean and He does. It doesn’t matter what we’ve done, how despicable we’ve been, or how many we’ve hurt, God’s cleansing is thorough.
We don’t always feel clean, though, do we? We remember what we’ve done and we’re ashamed. That shame and the guilt that goes with it keep us from believing the sins are gone. We can’t accept God’s forgiveness. We become obsessed by how dirty we once were on the inside.
Everything in the natural can be cleaned, but it sometimes takes a special process to get there. An oil stain in the driveway takes a combination of chemicals to get clean. Clothing might need bleach. A wall might need repainting. And some stains can never be cleaned no matter how hard you scrub.
That’s the kind of cleaning we’re used to, and we can’t help but wonder what else we could do to get right again after sin. Surely bigger sins require some sort of penance. Somewhere there must be a list of things we need to do to pre-treat our stains before we dare come before the sinless Almighty for forgiveness.
But God’s cleansing is thorough. 1 John 1:9 (KJV) says,
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
“All” is what it says. It doesn’t say “some.” It doesn’t say “certain sins.” It doesn’t say “except for the below-mentioned actions.”
Even if others haven’t forgiven us, even if we haven’t forgiven ourselves, even if we are still living with the consequences of what we’ve done, God’s forgiveness is thorough. Jesus Christ and His death on the cross paid the whole price for our sin. Because of Him, we can be as completely clean on the inside as we are on the outside.
All we need to do is tell God we’re sorry for what we’ve done and ask Him to forgive us. He is waiting to make us clean again.
It’s as easy as this: “Heavenly Father, I’m sorry for my sins. I’m buried under this guilt that I deserve. But please forgive me and make me right again with You. I want to be clean again on the inside. Thank You. I know You’ve forgiven me because Your word says so. In Jesus’ name. Amen.”
Wash Me, and I Will Be Clean
today.reframemedia.com, Tom Groelsema, Author
Scripture Reading — Psalm 51
Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. — Psalm 51:7
Psalm 51 is David’s great psalm of confession after committing adultery with Bathsheba and arranging the murder of her husband (see 2 Samuel 11–12). It’s a model psalm showing us how to confess our own sins to God. Its cries for mercy, honest acknowledgement of sin, and statements of renewed commitment to God are great examples for us to use in our own prayers.
Where did David find hope as he confessed? He wrote, “Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.” Hyssop was a small, brush-like plant in Israel. It’s mentioned in connection with the Passover; the Israelites used it to spread blood on the doorframes of their homes (Exodus 12:21-22). Later it was used to sprinkle blood on the tabernacle to dedicate it to God and on people with skin diseases so that they would be cleansed. Hyssop, blood, cleansing, and forgiveness all go together in the Bible, and David’s plea to be cleansed with hyssop was like saying, “Wash me with blood, and I will be forgiven.”
The blood of Jesus is our hope of forgiveness. When we confess our sins and are washed in the blood of Jesus, we are made clean. No sin sticks to people who trust in Christ. Confess your sins and believe in him today.