Cleansing; October 15, 2020


 Zechariah 13:1 “On that day a fountain will be opened to the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, to cleanse them from sin and impurity.”

As the hymn says, “There is a fountain filled with blood drawn from Emmanuel’s veins.” As we ran into a few days ago, it’s nice to run across the Scriptural basis for familiar songs. However, this is far more than a song. In normal life the idea of bathing in blood seems gross, absolutely disgusting, but two things are at play here. The first is that societal norms in Old Testament days were certainly different from those today. We don’t much like the idea of dabbing blood on thumbs and earlobes, even, much less painting it on our door frames, yet those things are clearly prescribed in the Law of Moses. The second thing is that God has never been politically correct. When we try to dress things up we cover over the raw reality of sin, and that our disobedience and rebellion against God really has destined us for horrible destruction. When I was a teenager I talked with someone who had been in South America as a missionary kid during a revolution in the country where they served, and she said she would never forget the smell of rotting human flesh, from bodies that had been left lying in the streets. We don’t like to confront that sort of reality, but our sin is part and parcel of that, and God had to take drastic action. Mel Gibson’s movie, The Passion of the Christ, was widely panned for its violence, but it was simply realistic, a true-to-life depiction of the fountain in this verse being opened up for the purification of the sins of mankind. God did what was necessary, and we just have to repent and believe.

This is something I keep coming back to, because even I forget it. I don’t like to acknowledge how horrible, how despicable my sins are. I am forever telling others about how God is perfectly holy and so cannot simply excuse sin, but the question remains of how holy I am, how up-to-date my repentance is. As I tell others, I’m not to keep picking at myself, searching for sins. Rather, I am to accept that the work of redemption has already been fully accomplished, and allow the Holy Spirit to shine light on specific issues as I need to deal with them. Repentance isn’t a “once and done” sort of thing, because I keep stumbling. However, forgiveness is very real, and I’ve got to accept it and forgive myself, as well as forgive those around me. God’s cleansing works in every direction!

Father, this is a vital, fundamental issue, yet at the same time it seems very deep to the average person. I don’t have the capacity to grasp it fully myself, much less communicate it effectively to others. I ask You to reveal it by Your Spirit, both to me and to those to whom I minister, so that we may walk in the holiness to which You have called us, for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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