By Terri Cox
Isaiah 1:18 (NIV) Come now, let us reason together,” 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.
1 John 1:7 ( KJV) But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.”
I was blessed to be raised in the church almost from birth. Really. When I was six weeks old, my name was added to the cradle roll at Rose Hill Baptist Church. It was Mother’s Day, and my mother won the prize for having the youngest baby present at church that day. As far back as I can remember, I sat in church on the pew with my extended family. I was too young to read or even to understand the theological messages boldly preached by Dr. Judson Burrell. But the one thing I did relate to was the music. I loved the hymns, and quickly memorized the parts of them that I could understand.
It seemed to me that quite a few of the hymns were about laundry. I knew a lot about that. My mother would wash our clothes in a washing machine and then carry the damp laundry out to the clothesline in the back yard. She would clip them to the line with wooden clothespins, and they would sway in the breeze and soak up the fresh sunshine until they were all clean and dry. So when I heard hymn “Bringing in the Sheets,” I sang along. “Bringing in the sheets, bringing in the sheets. We shall come rejoicing, bringing in the sheets.” That made lots of sense to me. What I didn’t understand were the songs about washing in the blood. So many of the hymns told about how washing in the blood would make you white as snow.
Have you been to Jesus for the cleansing power? Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?
What can wash away my sin? Nothing but the blood of Jesus. O precious is the flow that makes me white as snow, no other fount I know. Nothing but the blood of Jesus.
I knew good and well, that blood caused clothing to have a stubborn red stain. How could plunging in a fountain of blood wash away every stain? So I went to the person who knew the answer to just about everything—my big sister, Paula.
“Paula,” I asked. “How can washing in blood make something clean?” Paula, who was five years older than me, explained it to me. “They are talking about the blood of Jesus. It’s not like regular blood,” she explained. “His blood is more special than any other blood, because He is the Son of God. He shed His blood on the cross. He took the punishment for all of the bad things we have done. So that makes us clean.” “Oh,” I said. “So His blood is really like soap suds. Instead of making a stain, it washes us clean.” “Kinda like that,” said Paula.
Yes, we were just children trying to understand one of the great mysteries of God. But we were not far off. God loved us so much, that He sent His own son to sacrifice Himself and take our punishment. His blood washes us clean. And being clean feels so good! We didn’t deserve it. We couldn’t ever earn it, but God’s love is so strong, He gave us the greatest gift–forgiveness and reconciliation with Him. That makes me want to sing out the old hymn:
There is a fountain filled with blood drawn from Emmanuel’s veins.
And sinners plunged beneath that flood lose all their guilty stains!
Now that’s what I call doing the laundry!