Friday, October 25, 2013

What Can Wash Away My Sin?

What can wash away my sin? 
Nothing but the blood of Jesus. 
What can make me whole again? 
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

I love those questions that the writer of the song asks.  What can wash away my sin? Not to be confused with this moralistic theology that I can just improve my sin, but what can wash it away.  Get rid of it.  Destroy it.  Conquer it.  Yes, concrete words.  Imagine this with me.

There's two criminals in a court room.  One of the criminals is facing a sentence of 1 day in county jail.  And the other criminal is facing a sentence of life in prison.  Small or large crimes, both are being judged today. 

The judge, in a pressed robe and stern face walks into the court room.  All rise in honor.  The two criminals are both anticipating their verdict.  But one is a little more relaxed than the other.  I mean, one day in county jail. He can still catch the big game this weekend, no big deal.  But the criminal awaiting to know if he will rot in prison for the rest of his life is weeping at the possibilities of being away from his family and friends, and yes, missing the big game as well.  

The judge instructs everyone to sit in their seats.  One of the criminals is planning a shopping list in his head to pick up on his way home in two days---the other, asking himself what is there to do for the rest of your life in prison.  THE REST OF MY LIFE?  I mean, all because of one mistake??  I promise I won't do it again.  Just one mistake?  Life in prison.  The criminal pleaded to himself, or perhaps even to the big man.  

But justice must be served.  A law was broken.  Whether great or small, laws were broken and justice must be served.

The judge clears his throat, "In the case of Criminal #1 vs the State,  due to outside agreement, Criminal #1 will not have to serve the 1 day in county jail.  NOT GUILTY."  A few claps rang out from the crowd.  I mean, it was just one day.  Criminal #1 shrugs, adjusts his plans from two days to today and heads out of the court room.  The judge turns to the other criminal.

"In the case of Criminal #2 vs the State, due to outside agreement, Criminal #2,"  the judge looks up from the verdict slip.  He can see the sweat dripping off of the criminals face.  Everyone is sitting on the edges of their seat in anticipation, waiting for the inevitable.  But everyone likes to hope for the upset.


Criminal number 2 hadn't realize he wasn't breathing.  His stomach fell to the floor as the words he was not expecting to hear was just uttered by the judge.  Everyone in the courtroom was stunned at the verdict--and the fact that the judge was smiling.  Criminal #2, completely dumbfounded, looks up to the judge.  "May I approach the bench?"

"You may."  The judge complied.  Criminal #2 scurried from behind the table and approached the intimidating bench.  The grin was still on the judge's face.

"So um?  I know I shouldn't question you or the verdict, I'm probably crazy to.  But um, what happened?  I was for sure I was being sentenced to life."

"Do you not accept your verdict?"

"Oh yes sir.  I do.  I'm just, curious.  You know.  Kind of a big deal to just have a life sentence erased like that."

The judge lightly chuckled.  "I know, kinda was huh?"

"So, what happened?"

"See this guy next to me?"  The judge asked as He pointed to his right hand side.  "He has decided to satisfy the wrath of the State by taken on your life sentence."

"So he's the outside agreement?"

"Yes He is.  He is my son."

"Your son?"

"Yes.  My son."

"You let him?"

"Well yes, it was my pleasure to."


"Because of my great love for you."

Criminal #2 was stunned.  He had never heard of such a thing.  "Sorry.  Still a little confused.  So, you're telling me that I'm free to go?"


"Like, I'm not on Punk'd?"


"So I'm free to go?"

"Yes."  The judge grinned at his questions.  The criminal was still dragging his stomach around as he paced the floor.  He could not comprehend such mercy.

"But what could just wash away my sin?"

"Nothing but the blood of Jesus.  The wages of your sins is death, so yes, you deserve to be sentenced to your life sentence.  But my son has decided to die in your place."

The criminal looked at the man sitting on the judge's right hand side, amazed at the grace being lavished on him by that gentleman.  He didn't understand why anyone would do such a thing for him, I mean, he deserved to do some kind of time.  Because, if he really thought about it, it was a pretty wicked person.

"Sir, thank you so much.  How can I ever repay you?"

"That's not necessary."

"Well I must do something."

"Just follow me."

"Follow you where?"

"We'll deal with that when we get there, just follow me."

"Well, I may be freed from my sins but that doesn't change what I've done."

"You're right.  But there is no longer any shame for that, it's been taken care of.  Now you can feel free to deal with those issues."

"Okay, I can go work on that."

"No, WE can work on that.  Just follow me."  

The criminal thanked his lawyer and he walked out of the courtroom, completely in awe at the mercy of the judge and His son.

My friends, this is the Gospel.  You get a different response when the person understands his sentencing.  We, man's depravity, unable to do anything good.  Completely torn down and broken apart and separated from God because of our sin, not the ones we committed when we turned 13, but the ones we inherited at birth and it's the very nature of who were are.  So because of that, doomed for death and the wrath of God.  BUT Jesus, ----can I preach for a second---BUT JESUS, seeing all that we are.  Jesus, knowing fully of our sins, of our short comings, of our future sins, became that outside agreement with God and absorbed the wrath of God and died in our place, to impute his righteousness for our unrighteousness so that we may be seen as holy and blameless before a Holy God and be returned back into relationship with Him.

What an unbelievable love.       

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