We don’t like the word “sin” anymore. Call them “mistakes,” or “Karma,” or “disabilities,” or “disorders” – anything but “sin.” Well, a rose by any other name smells as sweet, and a portable toilet by any other name smells as foul. Sin, no matter what we call it reeks, and spawns ill effects in my life. Lies. Fear. Lust. Sloth. The whole lousy lot would ruin my destiny! But Jesus demonstrates I’m not a victim, or at least don’t have to remain one. Jesus hits sin square on the jaw and breaks its grip. And it does the trick with two simple words. He’s how…
“Be clean!” (Mark 1:40)
Is there sin in your life?
“&^$#@*?&er!” Your enemy hates you. He knows where to strike. He coins a word for every sin you’ve committed. “Thief.” “Coward.” “Lech.” “You’re %#x!?*&ed and unclean!” He is right; and he has the right to say so. What you have done and left undone has corrupted creation. Every misstep is compounded into catastrophe. You are responsible for all the pain in the world.
A loathsome leper forced his way to Jesus. The despair of 40 generations was eating him alive. Unclean. Untouchable. Unbearable. But the man grew desperate. “Jesus, if you are willing you can make me clean.” “I am willing,” Jesus replied. Then he touched him. He touched him and became like a leper himself! “Be clean!” he said. And that was that.
“Be clean!” was enough. Basic algebra balanced the equation. Jesus exchanged heaven’s purity for a leper’s oozing sores. With that, the Son of God died in his place.
Your enemy has you on trial. He intends to sentence you to you to hell. “Guilty!” he scoffs. And how will you plead? Say what Jesus said. “Be clean!” and refute the charge.
Announce to your mind: “Be clean!” Announce to your eyes: “Be clean!” Announce to your tongue, your hands, your feet, your heart: “Be clean!” Inside your soul and on behalf of others, put these two words to work.
Your mission: Listen to the prosecutor’s case. Admit guilt, but do not accept the sentence. Plead the Great Exchange – his life for mine – and “Be clean!” Then watch as all liability washes down the drain of God’s forgetfulness.
Question: “Where is there sin?” Answer: “Be clean!”