Many times as a child and young adult I sang with great zeal these refrains: 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?/Are you washed in the blood; in the soul-cleansing blood of the Lamb?/Are your garments spotless? Are they white as snow? Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?
There are hundreds, perhaps thousands, of cleansing agents on the market today. Everyone wants what they own to be clean. There are cleaners for virtually every surface and substance known…cleaners for floors, for rugs, for kitchen appliances, cabinets, dishes, pots and pans, bathroom fixtures, clothing, cars, and on and on. There are cleaners for the body, too, of numerous varieties.
Why all the focus on cleanliness? There are several reasons to keep something clean. First of all, for health’s sake. We hear a lot of news reports of food and water contamination by some deadly bacteria. Certainly, it is prudent to do what we can to keep ourselves and our loved ones free of disease. Rightly so, we want all the disease-causing germs washed out of and off of anything we handle or consume. Especially during flu season, we’re very careful to make sure we clean our shopping carts, doorknobs, etc.
Secondly, keeping something clean makes it more useful and prolongs the life of many items. Thirdly, and least importantly, there is that “squeaky clean” house (for women) and that shiny clean car (for men) that just makes one “proud.” It looks so nice!
Let’s look now at the cleansing agent called “blood.” Just imagine for a moment that you’re loading your washing machine with literal blood and throwing in a load of white clothes! How repulsive the very thought! Can anything be cleansed “white as snow” by washing it in literal blood? Never! Yet, this is what multitudes believe with regard
to Jesus’ blood. They believe that somehow their “souls” can be cleansed by the applying of Christ’s literal blood.
What is the REAL (Scriptural) cleansing agent for our “souls” and how is it applied? There is probably no other subject that more clearly taught by our Master than that of the true meaning of just what type of blood cleanses us from sin. Listen to what Jesus said (John 6 NLT): “I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you cannot have eternal life within you. But anyone who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise that person at the last day. For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. Anyone who eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in him. I live because of the living Father who sent me; in the same way, anyone who feeds on me will live because of me. I am the true bread that came down from heaven. Anyone who eats this bread will not die as your ancestors did (even though they ate the manna) but will live forever….The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing.”
Christ’s literal flesh and blood counted for nothing. He went on to say, “The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life.” And, “now you are clean through the word which I have spoken to you” (John 15:3). There is that cleansing agent–the Word. Isn’t it unmistakably clear…too clear to be misunderstood?
No, it isn’t the literal blood shed on the cross, but that precious WORD that He, the prophets and apostles all spoke that cleanses from sin. It is laid down in the Scriptures for us to partake of daily. We can go to that “cleansing fountain” and find instructions on what we must do to be clean. We need a daily cleansing. Paul said he “died daily” (1 Cor. 15:31). The only way to turn black (sin) to white (righteousness) is to put it away, leave it behind. “Wash you, make you clean,… cease to do evil, learn to do well” (Isa. 1:16).
The true cleansing agent does indeed wash whiter than snow. And that agent is the spiritual “blood,” the life-giving words of Jesus. This spiritual blood (the words of eternal life) is what God has provided to wash our spiritual robes (our souls, our inner life), for remember we must always compare “spiritual things with spiritual” when we are talking about the inspired words of Scripture (1 Cor. 2:13).
Jesus’ words and the commands He gave will indeed make us
clean from each sin as we apply them in our lives. They will make us “free” (John 8:32), free from pride as we copy His humility; free from selfishness as we take Jesus’ example of doing for others; free from vain glory as we seek only the honor that comes from God (John 5:44), free from deceit as we follow His example of integrity, and so with every evil to which we are prone. His words will cleanse us within. And when we’re clean within, we’ll shine outwardly for all to see our good works and glorify our Father in heaven (Matt. 5:16). Jesus said, “First cleanse the inside of the cup and dish, that the outside of them may be clean also” (Matt. 23:26).
Now that I am washing in this spiritual blood of the Lamb, my heart can sing,
Lord Jesus, I long to be perfectly whole;
I want truth forever to live in my soul;
Break down every idol, cast out every foe,
O, let me now wash, and be whiter than snow!
I want to be clean inside and out, don’t you? –BP