Vernon Price tells the story about a young lady who lived a sordid, and sinful life. Drugs, alcohol and sexual immorality characterized her lifestyle.
However, one night in a church service, she was convicted of her sins and responded to the Lord’s invitation. As she grew as a Christian she became involved in ministry and teaching children’s Bible classes.
At some point, she caught the eye and the heart of the preacher’s son. As the relationship grew, they made plans to be married. That’s when some problems from her past surfaced.
Sadly some in the church did not think that a woman with such a shameful past as hers was suitable for the preacher’s son. Tensions increased. Lines were drawn. And, finally, a meeting was called to seek a resolution.
As the young woman became visibly upset about some of the comments, the preacher’s son stood to speak. “My fiancee’s past is not what is on trial here,” he said, “What you are questioning is the ability of the blood of Jesus to wash away sin. Today you have put the blood of Jesus on trial. So, does it wash away sin or not?”
Quickly the atmosphere changed. People began to weep. And the opponents realized their attitude was wrong.
This morning while reading Revelation, I’m reminded of the wonderful, redeeming, cleansing power in the blood of Christ. John expressed it this way.
“To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.” (Rev. 1:5-6)
Sin is serious. Sin enslaves the will. Scars the conscience. Soils the heart. And stains the soul. Sin is defiling. Degrading. And disgraceful. It wrecks homes. Ruins reputations. Divides churches. And leaves hurting, wounded souls suffering in its wake.
Yet, there is help and hope.
The blood of Jesus.
To people who were wallowing in the cesspool of sin and guilty of fornication, adultery, homosexuality, and every other kind of despicable deed you can imagine, Paul penned, “But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God” (1 Cor 6:9-11).
“I used to think it strange that the Bible keeps talking about the cleansing power of the blood,” admitted the late and renowned surgeon Paul W. Brand.
“It seemed to me that blood was messy stuff. I needed to wash my white lab coats if they became stained with blood,” wrote Dr. Brand in his book God’s Forever Feast. “Today, I love the analogy; it is so true of the body. The blood is constantly cleansing every cell, and washing away all the debris that accumulates all the time. I like Paul’s phrase in Hebrews.3 ‘How much more shall the blood of Christ purge [cleanse] your conscience from dead works?”
One Friday, 20 centuries ago, Jesus of Nazareth was taken to Calvary’s Hill and crucified on the cross. But what makes that narrative so compelling and powerful is “the blood of the cross.”
The apostle Paul put it this way in Colossians 1:19-20. “For it pleased the Father that in (Christ) all the fullness should dwell, and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross.”
“The blood of the cross” can purify the soul of sin’s putridity. Drunkards can get sober. Dishonest people can live honorable lives. And sexually immoral men and women can become morally upright. And sin’s guilt and stain is washed away!
How do we receive the efficacious, cleansing power of Christ’s blood? Just like Saul of Tarsus after hearing the gospel message and heeding the preachers instruction. “And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord.” (Ax 22:16).
In the words of the 19th-century hymnologist Elisha Hoffman…
Have you been to Jesus for the cleansing power?
Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?
Are you fully trusting in His grace this hour?
Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman