“But we are all like an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags; we all fade as a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.” Isaiah 64:6 …“So he said to me, “These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.” Revelation 7:14
It’s Monday again. Wash day. Dirty clothes have piled up all week, threatening to take over the closet with their not-so-fragrant odors. After mountaintop-high weekends, it’s back to reality. The laundry has to be done.
But it’s a huge privilege to have a washing machine and dryer. And the necessity of gratitude and praise calls me to be thankful, too, for the blessing of dirty clothes because they represent something far more significant than loads of icky, sweaty T-shirts.
The contrast between clean and unclean pervades Scriptures. The Old Testament laws went into meticulous detail for priestly cleansing before anyone could enter God’s presence in the tabernacle. Lepers were excommunicated to prevent the spread of infection and were forced to shout, “Unclean!”
King David pleaded with God to wash him “whiter than snow” in Psalm 51:7 after his compounded sins of lust, adultery, cover-up, and eventually murder…sounds like “dirty laundry” in the media today, doesn’t it? David knew how badly he needed to be cleaned up.
What a promise, though, we have in Jesus Christ! In 1 Corinthians 6, after a long list of sinful doings that have soiled us, we are reminded that we are washed, sanctified, and justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of God. The apostle Paul tells Titus that Jesus has saved us, “not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit.”
We’re not able to scrub or scour or bleach ourselves spotless enough to deserve heaven…in our sinfulness, we’re just as unwelcome as a stinky sock. But Jesus, in His great love for us, makes us pure and presentable, dressing us in His robes of blamelessness. He removes our dirt. He does the laundry for us.
When I view the finished work of clean linens, I see His finished work on the cross!
Thank You, Jesus, for reminding me once again of Your loveliness and purity, even as I am surrounded by piles of my own sins. Wash me today, and my heart shall be whiter than snow. Thank You for the sacrifice You made for me on Your cross, once and for all, that redeems me from having to do my own dirty laundry! In Your faultless name I pray, Amen.
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