Christ: Refuge for the Unclean
Hebrews 6:18b …” we might have strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us.”
Today if in your sin you are fleeing—flee to Jesus, the safest and nearest refuge for the unclean.
If you fear your past, hate your sin, long to have some deep dark stain removed, some painful memory healed, some horrible guilt forever banished—Jesus has His gates open wide. His Door is unlocked and He stands with open arms to believers and unbelievers alike this very moment.
The Wonderful Benefit of Staying in the Safest Spot in the universe is finding Christ as our Lifelong Refuge
KEDESHmeans a "holy place" or "righteousness,” and this is our first need. When we come to Christ, He gives us His righteousness and forgives all our sins. (2 Cor 5:21,Col. 2:13).
So Jesus is the refuge for the unclean. There is no sin He can’t forgive; there is no stain He can’t remove; there is no failure He can’t forget. Remember these words from Christ's lips:
Mark 1:40-45 “Now a leper came to Him, imploring Him, kneeling down to Him and saying to Him, “If You are willing, You can make me clean.” Then Jesus, moved with compassion, stretched out His hand and touched him, and said to him, “I am willing; be cleansed.” As soon as He had spoken, immediately the leprosy left him, and he was cleansed. And He strictly warned him and sent him away at once, and said to him, “See that you say nothing to anyone; but go your way, show yourself to the priest, and offer for your cleansing those things which Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.” However, he went out and began to proclaim it freely, and to spread the matter, so that Jesus could no longer openly enter the city, but was outside in deserted places; and they came to Him from every direction.”
This is Christ's first meeting with an individual in Mark’s Gospel. All other events have been with groups. This meeting is captured because it is the most beautiful reminder of how Jesus cleanses us completely as individuals. Today we see Jesus as the perfect refuge for this unclean leper.
Physically, leprosy is awful. Leprosy was the scourge of the ancient world. Nothing evoked more fear, more dread, or more revulsion than the sight of these walking dead. That is what a leper was called, a walking dead man. The smell of his decaying flesh would announce his coming long before the tattered scraps of his clothing would be seen, or his raspy "Unclean! Unclean!" announcement he was required to declare, could be heard. The stumbling shuffle of toeless feet, the wandering of sightless eyes and the moan of a cheek less mouth, all pointed to leprosy; this unseen attacker that slowly destroyed human bodies, and made the individual an untouchable to society.
Spiritually, leprosy is a vivid and graphic picture of the horrible power of sin. Sin is ugly, loathsome, incurable, and contaminating; it separates men from God and makes them outcasts. The instructions given to the priests in Leviticus 13 help us understand the nature of sin:
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