12th December 2019

Washed in His Blood

“Behold, the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.”
John 1:29 (KJV)

Don’t you just feel silly sometimes? Walking back to the Tube station after singing in Messiah from Scratch® in London the other night, I tripped and split my chin open on the pavement…Thanks to the kindness of my friends and a nocturnal visit to our trusty NHS medics in A&E, the debris was soon extracted and my minor injury was glued (yes, glued!) and patched up – all nice and clean!

Not so my cherished emerald-green, silk-and-cashmere scarf that doubles (or, should I say, unfolds!) as a shawl and has kept me cosy through a succession of chilly winters; a daylight inspection back home the next day confirmed it was extensively stained with random patches of red… my blood! Quite festive, you could say, if you like that kind of colour scheme.

Would I be able to wash the blood out and restore it to its former glory? First, I applied some mild laundry bleach that makes biological matter fizz, heat up and erupt in white foam, zeroing in on the stains like CSI’s luminol and making even tiny ones plain to see! Same treatment for my fawn pillowcase, which by now also exhibited some minor blood stains. I popped them both in the washing machine on the ‘handwash’ cycle – I’ve washed the scarf that way before with no ill effects – and awaited the results…

Unfortunately, the stains remained… just less colourful… so, for ‘round two’, I repeated the procedure but selected the ‘baby clothes’ cycle – surely that would be relatively gentle but deal with stubborn stains? Hours later, I extracted a now-GREEN pillowcase and a scarf that’s a much paler shade, just HALF its former width and rather thicker. Free of blood stains, for sure, but it will never be the same again!

It brought to mind the miraculous paradox of having our sin-stained lives washed clean in the blood of the Lamb of God, Jesus our Messiah. This is not something we can do for ourselves! If we try to ‘take it on the chin,’ wrestling with sin in an attempt to eliminate stains by our own effort, we fail miserably! We are left with the filthy rags of self-righteousness! Only in Him, washed in His blood, do we become like clean wool, wearing the spotless, perfect robes of true righteousness – because He alone is our righteousness (1 Corinthians 1:30).

In the lyrics of the last two choruses from Handel’s Messiah (Revelation 5:12–13 based on the King James Version of the Bible and as rendered in the libretto of Messiah): “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain, and hath redeemed us to God by His blood, to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing. Blessing and honour, glory and pow’r be unto Him, be unto Him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb, for ever, for ever and ever. Amen!”

Dear Lord, thank you for clothing us in the royal robes of Your righteousness that we don’t deserve and can’t achieve by all our striving! We marvel at the cleansing power of Your spilt blood and the unfathomable price You paid to wash us clean. In response, may we truly live to serve Your Majesty!

Study by Shirley McLean

About the Author:
Shirley McLean attends Grace Communion International in Luton. Shirley runs a monthly choir workshop, which is also a social occasion where all are welcome–see www.kingsfold.org

Local Congregation:
Gracecom Luton
Farley Hill Methodist Church
North Drift Way
Farley Hill

Meeting time:
Saturday 10:30am

Local Congregational Contact:
Harry Sullivan
Phone: 01908-582222
Email: luton@gracecom.church

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