No More Stains (Washed Clean by the Blood of Jesus)
In him we have redemption through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will. – Ephesians 1:7
It’s amazing how quickly time passes! It’s been a little over 15 years since that day in the ground floor of my cold, damp San Francisco flat I made a decision to follow Jesus. For nearly a decade I’d lived a life of supposed “freedom” - my identity was rooted in my feelings instead of Jesus, and sadly I fell into a downward spiral of hedonistic pursuits. Despite all the “fun” I appeared to be having on the outside, on the inside I was dying, living for the moment because I believed I had no future. During that time I don’t think I ever stopped believing God was real; I just felt I was too far gone to ever be loved by him again.
I am so, so glad that Jesus “left the 99” to pursue this one lost sheep! The thing that still sticks out about that time in my life is just how good it felt to be forgiven!!! There were times when I thought I needed spiritual sunglasses because walking in the light was so - well, bright!!! That June my closest friends and family gathered on the sandy shore of a public beach on the San Francisco marina, and watched as I entered into the (cold!!) waters of baptism, a beautiful picture of that great exchange - through faith, the crimson blood of Jesus washing my sins white as snow and giving me a new identity, clothed in Christ.
Leroy Eims of the Navigators ministry talks about this in his devotional “No More Stains.” He starts by taking us to the local grocery store or Wal-Mart - typically an entire aisle is dedicated to products dedicated to cleaning, and some which claim to “remove even the toughest stains.” Of course, there is one stain - the stain of sin - that has only one remedy - the cleansing power of the blood of Jesus.
Eims references the words of an old hymn, “There is a fountain filled with blood drawn from Immanuel’s veins; and sinners plunged beneath that flood lose all their guilty stains.” He then makes this powerful statement:
This fountain will never lose its power to cleanse people like us from sin. When Jesus died on the cross, He shed His blood that we might receive the gift of eternal life, if we turn to Him in repentance and belief.
In this season of Lent, as we approach the day we remember Christ’s death and celebrate his resurrection, it’s good to be reminded of the sacrifice which made - and makes - our forgiveness possible. Eims puts it this way - “To be cleansed from sin is to be free from guilt and free to live a new life of power. Christ Himself is the fountain where you can lose all your guilty stains.” Now that is a reason to have hope!