Remember Christ's Blood
The Cleansing Power of Christ's Blood
Jesus Christ...loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, . . . to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
The blood of Christ has loosed us from our sins. Why do we need that power? From the dark hour of the Fall in the splendors of the Garden of Eden, every man, woman, and child has since been chained by the bondage of sin-stained by an indelible mark that grips our very souls. All pain, decay, fear, sorrow, death, and evil in our world traces its origins back to that very moment.
In the Bible, one of the pictures or metaphors for sin is found in the oldest and most feared of all diseases in history-leprosy. My first exposure to this feared disease occurred in a third-world country while riding a city bus through the squalor of the slum dwellers. In a billowing cloud of high-sulfur diesel, smoldering garbage, and filthy, dirt-laden air, we jerked to a stop as an oxcart lumbered across the road. Out of the corner of my eye a movement toward the bus caught my attention. A beggar pulled back his rag shawl that draped his shoulders and, in desperation, ran up to my slightly open window. Flinging his frail body at the bus, now just starting up again, he thrust a hand into the window. At least it used to be a hand: an oozing, ulcerated, gangrenous stump was all that remained. There in the window but for a moment, yet its image is indelibly burned into my mind.
Leprosy is the first disease recorded in the Bible. It is found in the mummified bodies of Egypt's tombs. It was a horror in Israel, as Luke records: "And many lepers were in Israel in the time of Elisha the prophet, and none of them was cleansed except Naaman the Syrian" (Luke 4:27).
What we know today as Hansen's Disease is terrible as it ravages the human body. A natural response to leprosy is revulsion. Lepers were ostracized and feared. They were under penalty of death, kept outside of the camp or city, and were to be avoided as unclean. God then used the disease's physical disfigurement, and the resulting ceremonial uncleanness, as a spiritual illustration. Leprosy is a vivid and graphic physical picture of the spiritual defilement of sin.
It is in this context that the power of Jesus is so beautifully seen: Now a leper came to Him, imploring Him . . . , "If You are willing, You can make me clean"(Mark 1:40). Just as Christ's power could heal that leper physically, so His power can wash us and loose us from our sin. All we will ever need was accomplished by the inestimable, infinite, power of the blood of Christ.
The New Testament details these powerful truths of salvation that are directly tied to the blood of Christ: His blood, our forgiveness, powerfully paid the penalty of our past sin; His blood, our victory, absolutely defeats the power of our present sin; and His blood, our security, totally secures us from the presence of our future sin.
There is power in the blood of Christ: power to cleanse, change, and keep us-power to redeem, restore, and renew us. It is all the power of God's amazing grace in the sacrifice of our Lord Jesus as He poured out His blood on the cross.
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