“And a leper came to [Jesus], imploring Him, and kneeling said to Him, ‘If you will, you can make me clean.’
Moved with pity, He stretched out His hand and touched him and said to him, ‘I will; be clean.’
And immediately the leprosy left him, and he was made clean.”
This plea for cleansing strikes me this morning. Because it highlights for me a deep need that we might overlook, or one that maybe we don’t really see as possible.
To be made clean.
Yes, Jesus’ sacrifice saves us from wrath. He mends our brokenness and pain. He breaks the chains of sin that held us captive.
But let’s not miss this beautiful truth: He is also able and willing to make us clean.
Sinner, does this not stir your heart with hope?
Because our sins aren’t just covered over the way a blanket of snow hides what still remains beneath it. Painted over “as if” they aren’t really there.
No, we are cleansed of them. The stains are utterly gone. Forever.
Because the cleansing of Jesus, when He comes in to touch our lives and uncleanness with His nail-pierced hands, it is complete.
1 John 1:9 does not merely say our sins are forgiven when we confess them. It also declares that God will faithfully cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
It is as removed from us, the stains as cleared from our soul, as the leprosy was cleansed from this man. Not a bit of it remained. He was immediately and thoroughly made clean.
Oh, what hope and freedom is found in this! We don’t need to keep figuratively scrubbing away at the stain of past sins (however recently they were committed), trying to remove them enough so we can approach this Holy God in worship and prayer.
Because at our humble and repentant confession, they are already gone.
“Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that He opened for us through the curtain, that is, through His flesh, and since we have a great High Priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful” (Hebrews 10:19-23).
He is faithful, and He is mighty. To save, to heal, and to cleanse completely.
And He says to you today, regardless of how deeply you feel entrenched in the mire of your past or how impossibly stained you seem –
“I will; be clean.”