Tonight I sang, “What can wash away my sins? Nothing but the blood of Jesus. What can make me whole again? Nothing but the blood of Jesus… Oh precious is the flow that makes me white as snow. No other fount I know. Nothing but the blood of Jesus.”
So much in those words. In times past the celebration of the fact that it’s Jesus’ blood, not my “blood,sweat and tears”, but Jesus blood and His alone that can wash away my sins floods my soul. At other times, rest in the simpleness of it being Jesus plus NOTHING, which makes me right in God’s eyes, fills me with peace. But tonight I was compelled while I sang. An argument against all accusations of being legalistic or too idealistic, or too extreme in my convictions filled me.
My heart was shouting, “It’s too precious! His blood is too precious! I can’t just flippantly do what I desire without any regard to what God says or take some of God’s ways and leave behind the others that make me feel uncomfortable or restrained. Jesus’ blood is too precious! I can’t wink at sin or laugh at it or cozy up next to it… Jesus died for it. Don’t you realize NOTHING but the blood of Jesus can wash away my sin!? It takes blood, precious blood, blood from the only pure, perfect, loving, kind One. It cost too much to just do whatever I want to do. It’s not that I am trying to earn His favor, it’s that He has suffered so much and shown me so much favor… how could I walk all over His grace and sacrifice like that?! The answer to why I do what I do or don’t do what I don’t do is, ‘Jesus suffered, bled and died a cruel death for you and me… that’s why!’ “
There’s seems to be a disconnect about works vs. faith when it comes to salvation. But if I just focus on the road of suffering Jesus took up to save me, all of those confusing arguments fall apart. The truth is NOTHING but the blood of Jesus can wash away my sins, therefore I’ll never be able to walk through this life indulging my flesh and making excuses for my sin… there’s too much precious, holy, blood that has been spilled to wash me clean of all those ways.
I can’t wink at. I can’t be entertained by it. I can’t approve of those who practice it. I can only soberly stand on the truth that those ways cost Jesus spit in His face, a beard violently pulled out, gruesome tears of flesh all over His body, mockery amidst cardiopulmonary explosion, terrors of pain, and most of all the rejection from His Father; all while His precious blood flowed to save you and me.
When I sang “What can wash away my sins? Nothing but the blood of Jesus!” tonight, I declared why I can’t live like my flesh desires. I am not my own. A heavy price was paid for me. It’s that expensive grace which saves me. And it’s that freely poured out grace which compels me to flee youthful lusts and obey the ways of God. I don’t want to mock the blood of Jesus. I don’t want to trample under foot His precious blood while I walk towards the fleeting pleasures of what He has declared as sin.
“What can wash away my sins?” isn’t just a catchy old gospel hymn. It’s the self-sacrificing call of Love on my life to live out the holiness purchased for me. It’s a cause to be grieved with God over sin, not to poopoo it. It’s a cause to intercede for those in sin and to cover it with self-sacrificing love. Love that would suffer to speak truth and impart grace. It’s the price tag on my life.
So, friends, we can now—without hesitation—walk right up to God, into “the Holy Place.” Jesus has cleared the way by the blood of his sacrifice, acting as our priest before God. The “curtain” into God’s presence is his body. So let’s do it—full of belief, confident that we’re presentable inside and out. Let’s keep a firm grip on the promises that keep us going. He always keeps his word. Let’s see how inventive we can be in encouraging love and helping out, not avoiding worshiping together as some do but spurring each other on, especially as we see the big Day approaching.
If we give up and turn our backs on all we’ve learned, all we’ve been given, all the truth we now know, we repudiate Christ’s sacrifice and are left on our own to face the Judgment—and a mighty fierce judgment it will be! If the penalty for breaking the law of Moses is physical death, what do you think will happen if you turn on God’s Son, spit on the sacrifice that made you whole, and insult this most gracious Spirit? This is no light matter. – Hebrews 10:19-31 The Message paraphrase
He loves us too much! He paid too much! I don’t want to insult His sacrifice. Oh let me live in that pure fear of God. Not fear of punishment, but fear of trampling on His grace. Not fear of not being good enough. Fear of not responding with my life to His goodness.