“the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin” – I Peter 1:7
Usually we think of sin as wrong deeds we commit. This is true, but the Bible also shows us that sin is a power that defiles us. It makes us unclean and filthy. This was a big theme of the Book of Leviticus: sin defiles and makes you unclean.
Commonly, as people commit sin in private, particularly sexual sins, they feel the filth and uncleanness of their sin. They feel dirty. The overwhelming feeling is one of being stained, filthy and impure.
We also need to recognize that we are defiled not only by the sins we commit, but also by those committed against us. Victims of rape, sexual assault and other forms of abuse may be innocent sufferers, but the sin committed against them has defiled them as well. The horrible sin has left a stain.
One of the many glories of the cross is that Jesus is our expiation, that is, his sacrifice removed our sin from us and made us clean. I John 1:7-9 says, “if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
Sin defiles and makes us dirty, but Jesus makes us clean. As we confess our sin and bring it into the light, Jesus cleanses us from all sin and unrighteousness, whether evil we have committed ourselves or evil committed against us. All unrighteousness is removed from us. All is cleansed and made new again.
Our sin is not merely cancelled out and forgiven (amazing as that is), while we continue on in our filth. No, Jesus not only forgives, but makes us clean and new. We are pure, whole and beautiful again.
Our tendency is to define ourselves by the sins we’ve committed or have been committed against us. We build our identity on our failures and how we’ve been victimized. But for those who confess their sin and turn to Jesus, there is a new identity. We are no longer defined by our failure and the stains of sin, but are defined by Jesus success and his cleansing. Because of Jesus, you can be new, clean, pure and whole, without stain, wrinkle or blemish. Because of Jesus you are beautiful.
(written for Delve, the Tsawwassen Alliance Church blog)