But He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon Him, and by His wounds we are healed. Isaiah 53:5
Although forgiveness and cleansing of sins are foundational to the Christian faith, I still struggle to understand how I can be completely cleansed because of what somebody else did. Face it, I still flub up and realize my hands and heart are dirty. I get that Christ forgives, but how does His action cleanse my hands and heart?
Jesus’ cleansing may be challenging for me to understand because of my works mentality. The thinking that says, “Be responsible, you broke it, you fix it.” But, I can’t clean up with dirty hands. No one cleans anything with grimy hands. Responsible behavior says anyone with sin stained hands should have them pierced and be hung on a cross.
God agreed, and because He didn’t want to condemn us, but couldn’t compromise when it came to sin and ignore dirty hands, He sent his pure white-handed son Jesus, the sin cleaner. Jesus said instead of piercing humanity’s dirty hands, take my clean hands and let me pay the penalty of sin (painful abuse of Calvary) along with the redemption price of dirty handed humanity (death).
Love and justice united on Calvary providing cleansing and redemption. The dirtiness of sin was punished and Christ’s death was my redemption payment restoring me to His family.
Now, every time I reach out my hand to take communion, I’m reminded that God sees Christ’s nail pierced hands reaching out which cleansed me and reunited me with Him.
Although I don’t live in a constant state of sinless perfection, the Perfect One lives in me. This makes cleansing available every moment. I’m learning to live my life in constant communion recognizing that since Christ is in me, cleansing is continually available. At the same time, I’m allowing the power of His presence to overcome the dirtiness of my sin.
- Do you recognize any “works mentality thoughts” that compete with Christ’s cleansing?
- How can you live in constant communion recognizing cleaning is continually available?