Walking towards the Light from the cross of a King

A blog by Josh Humbert

So Fresh and so Clean….clean? YES

“I have it, it’s an oyster with two tickets to that thing you love. Look again, the tickets are now diamonds! Anything is possible when your man smells like Old Spice and not a lady. I’m on a horse.”   —Old Spice Man

Outkast may have been “So Fresh and so clean,” as their lyrics bragged.  Indeed, I won’t deny them that.  But, I found myself to be so fresh and so clean, clean the other night as well.  I will discuss body wash items in just a moment.  First let me start with something else that’s cool:

One of the things I really appreciate about my church is how seriously we take the Lord’s Supper.  It isn’t something we just do with little explanation or fanfare.  It is done in accordance with Biblical commands and with a sense of solemnity and gratefulness. From what we read about the Lord’s Supper in 1 Corinthians 11, you get the sense there should be a certain “weightiness” for individuals as they remember what Jesus Christ did on the Cross to atone for their sins.  I think our church gets that weightiness right.

We do the Lord’s Supper once a quarter and the occasion is clearly explained from the pulpit.  It is a time to remember.  It is a time to repent.  As we remember how Jesus paid our debt, it should bring us to inspect ourselves and confess and repent of the sins in our lives.

1 Corinthians 11:27-28 says it this way:Therefore whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner, shall be guilty of the body and the blood of the Lord.But a man must examine himself, and in so doing he is to eat of the bread and drink of the cup.

That is such a crucial part of the equation: a man MUST examine himself.  You don’t just go up and grab a cracker and juice flippantly.  It isn’t a “routine” or “habit.”  There is “work” to be done, so to speak, for those who will partake.  It is a work of the heart and mind.

Clearly, if you are going to take part in the Lord’s Supper, as a Christian you must turn the mirror back on yourself and echo Psalm 139 “Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me, and know my anxieties; And see if there is any wicked way in me, And lead me in the way everlasting.”

To give Him permission to shine His light on our darkness is the best way to prepare for remembering His goodness.

For, as we begin to look at the sin in our lives and call it what it is….as we begin to confess the sins that the Spirit brings to mind….as we let Him search us and find any of the wicked ways within us…..it makes remembering the finished work of Jesus on the Cross that much sweeter and amazing.

In light of all this, I found myself feeling conviction on Saturday night.  I knew the following day would be the Lord’s Supper and I wanted to be right with my Savior.  As  I prepared to shower Saturday night, I reflected on the last week and recalled the sins in my own life: my selfish pride that showed up in my thoughts and conversations, my valuing of earthly things as better than Jesus, my lack of concern for those in need, my lack of faith….on and on the list went.

God didn’t have to “search me” too much; my sins were numerous and they weren’t too hard to find.

As I began to rinse off, I just prayed a simple prayer and confessed all the things that came to my mind.  I asked for the forgiveness only He can give.  Then I reached for the body wash.

It was a full bottle, as I had never used this particular body wash ever before.  As I poured it out, I noticed the color of the liquid was a deep, dark red.  Almost blood-red.

This, I thought, is a symbol of what I’m asking for:  the blood of Jesus to wash me and cleanse me of all my sins.  Obviously, I know that it was just body wash and had no “soul-cleansing” powers, but the symbolism was powerful.

I was definitely dirty and muddy after a day of yard work and ultimate Frisbee and now…I saw this deep, dark red liquid cover me and start to wash away all the dirt and grime.  As the red body wash became a bubbly soap, I was becoming clean again.

In a moment of honest worship in the middle of my shower, I thanked God for the Gospel.  It is GOOD news for sinners like me that I can’t earn God’s approval or work my way to His good side.  I am counted as cleansed and forgiven in His eyes SOLELY on the basis of the deep, dark red blood that Jesus Christ shed on that Cross so long ago.  It was the deep, dark red blood of a perfect Savior, a perfect Sacrifice, that makes it possible for me to be counted as righteous in God’s eyes.

2 Corinthians 5:21 “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”

I looked again at the bottle of body wash and noticed what it was called.  Now, most guy-body wash products have very macho-sounding names like “Swagger” or “Instinct” or “Dark Temptation” or even “After Hours” (yes these are all real names).  This particular body wash was simply named “True.”

The great news is that the Gospel is TRUE.  Forgiveness and new life in Christ is possible.  Jesus Christ did rise again and He reigns victoriously.  His promise of amazing grace to sinners who confess is real.  He is True.

Isaiah 1:18 “Come now, and let us reason together,” says the Lord, “Though your sins are as scarlet, they will be white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they will be like wool.”

Psalm 103:12 “For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His lovingkindness toward those who fear Him.  As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.”

Isaiah 43:25 “I am He who blots out your transgressions for My own sake, and I will not remember your sins.”

Titus 3:5-6 “He saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to His own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior.”

Psalm 130:3-4 “If You, O Lord, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand?  But there is forgiveness with You, that You may be feared.”

Isaiah 38:17 “But You have lovingly delivered my soul from the pit of corruption, for You have cast all my sins behind Your back.”

Psalm 145:8-9 “The Lord is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.  The Lord is good to all, and His mercy is over all that He has made.”

1 Peter 3:18-19 “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the Righteous for the unrighteous, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the Spirit.”

Psalm 20:5 “May we shout for joy over Your salvation, and in the name of our God set up our banners!”

There was nothing magical in that body wash.  And to any dudes who are reading this… despite what Axe or Old Spice commercials tell you, basically, those products just get you physically clean.  There isn’t power in body wash.

But there is power in confessing your sins to Him.  Not only is there power, but there is forgiveness, total cleansing, grace, mercy, and a clean heart.

Confess your sins to Jesus.  Repent and turn away from the junk.  Ask Him to wash you clean.  Remember the price He paid.  Remember His Cross.

Examine and Remember.  Remember what is True.

“On the hillside, you will be deliveredAt the foot of the cross, justified.And your spirit restoredBy the river that poursFrom our blessed Savior’s side”  –Beautiful, Scandalous Night

Thanks for reading.  As always, comments and messages are welcomed.

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This entry was posted on December 16, 2010 by in Blogroll and tagged , , , , , , .

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