When I was a little girl, I colored in long strokes with a permanent red marker on my blue bedspread. Eager to show my mom my artistic abilities, I wasn’t prepared for her distress. She apparently saw my masterpiece as a stain to eliminate. The washing machine worked overtime. My mom went through half the bottle of stain remover as she scrubbed it many times until the bedspread was pristine. I never played with red Sharpies again.
Jesus' sacrifice serves as the permanent stain remover for our sins. In the Old Testament, everyone, even the priests, had to continually offer sacrifices of bulls and goats to cover their sins before God. Now we have a different standing with God. Hebrews 10:14 says, “For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified” (NKJV). Jesus only had to offer Himself once to make us spotless for eternity.
When He died on the cross, His blood flowed backwards to cover the sins of humanity. Romans 3:24b-26a says, "Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness" (NKJV). God knew His Son Jesus would obey the Father and drink the cup of wrath that we deserved so He passed over those sins for a time. The coming Messiah made it possible for everyone who ever lived to go to heaven. All salvation pivots on the work of the cross where every sin was washed white.
Jesus not only paid for the sins of people in the past, but for our sins on this side of the cross. We can come to the Lord with confidence when we request forgiveness. 1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (NKJV). We will be restored by the blood of the Lamb when we acknowledge our sins before God. We agree with God that our actions violate His commands. Then we thank God that He has already forgiven us through the finished work of the cross. We hide our lives in Christ so the Father sees His righteousness when He looks on us.
While you’d never wash your clothes in blood, His blood is the only detergent that can cleanse our consciences. Hebrews 10:19-22 says, “Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh, and having a High Priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.” Guilt and shame, once inevitable, are now banished by the blood. We are free to have peace with God.
The cleansing power of the blood encompasses all people, past and present, permanently. Jesus’ gift of laying down His life provides the means to restore our evil minds to an inconceivable purity. I thank Jesus for the stain removing power of His blood to wash me clean from the inside out so I may walk in new life.
Joanna Eccles has led Bible studies for over ten years and completed the year-long C. S. Lewis Fellows Program. She is passionate about discipleship and helping people know God better. Joanna enjoys coffee, traveling, and reading, and currently lives in Virginia.