“Come now, let us settle the matter,” says the Lord. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.”
Every Spot Is Gone
Lady Macbeth was confident that she and her husband had nothing to be concerned about. Yes, they both were guilty of murder, since Macbeth had stabbed King Duncan to death and she had insisted that he do it. Yes, they both had hands that were covered in King Duncan’s blood. But all they had to do, Lady Macbeth thought, was wash Duncan’s blood off their hands and then everything would be okay. “A little water clears us of this deed. How easy is it, then!” she said to her husband.
Lady Macbeth, however, soon learned that it wasn’t that easy. Washing Duncan’s blood off her hands may have rid her of the external evidence of her crime, but it did not wash away her guilt. That guilt gnawed at her and tormented her and drove her mad. Finally, she sleepwalked around her castle, trying in vain to wash away the spots of Duncan’s blood that she still saw staining her hands.
Sin is like that. When we do something wrong, something that we know God doesn’t want us to do, we like to think that we can easily remove the stain of that sin from ourselves. A little bit of doing good will clear us of our sin. A little bit of denying that the sin ever happened will clear us of our sin. A little bit of promising to do better next time will clear us of our sin. We tell ourselves that it is easy, but we soon find out that it’s not that easy. In spite of our best efforts to rid ourselves of the stain of our sins, the stain remains. And it only grows larger and darker with each subsequent sin.
So, are we, like Lady Macbeth, doomed to bear the blood-red stain of our sins forever? No. In our Bible passage today, God tells us, “Come now, let us settle the matter. Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.” But how can God cleanse such an indelible stain from us and make us clean? He does it by washing us in something much more powerful than water. He washes us in the blood of his Son, Jesus.
Normally, when we dip something in blood, it doesn’t come out clean. However, when God washes us in the blood of his Son, we do come out clean. Jesus’ blood, poured out on the cross, is the perfect payment for all our sins. And when we are washed in that blood, every stain of our sins disappears. Though our sins were like scarlet, in the blood of Jesus we become as pure as the freshly fallen snow. Though our sins were like crimson-red, in the blood of Jesus we become as white as wool.
Lady Macbeth tried and failed to remove the stain of her sins from her hands. Thankfully, we don’t have to rely on our own efforts to be cleansed of the stain of our sins. In the blood of Jesus, God has washed us and made us completely clean. We are now pure and holy in his sight, because in Jesus every spot of sin is gone.
Heavenly Father, I praise you for washing me in the blood of Jesus and making me clean. May I joyfully live in your forgiveness forever. Amen.