FountainTuesday, April 19, 2011
“On that day a fountain will be opened to the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, to cleanse them from sin and impurity" (Zechariah 13:1).
The Bible often uses the image of the fountain to convey the thought of cleansing from sin. In Jeremiah 2:13 the Lord speaks with sorrow to the nation of Israel:
My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water.
We find this beautiful invitation near the end of the Bible:
To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life (Revelation 21:6).
When we think of the word “fountain,” we probably have in mind a fountain in a public park that sprays water into the air. But in the Bible the word means something closer to the word “spring.” The “fountain” refers to the source of pure, clean, refreshing water. The word implies an abundance of water. A “fountain” is place where water continually gushes forth. Years ago we used to sing this little chorus when we taught Bible clubs in Chattanooga:
Deep and wide,
Deep and wide,
There’s a fountain flowing deep and wide.
That fountain starts in heaven at the throne of God and flows down to earth. It’s the fountain of living water that brings us eternal life. That fountain is indeed as deep as God’s mercy and as wide as God’s heart. You will never come to the end of the fountain of living water.
Revelation 7:14 dramatically changes the imagery to include the blood of Christ:
They have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
From that image we get familiar gospel songs such as “Nothing But the Blood” and “Are You Washed in the Blood?” It is sometimes said that the idea of being “washed in the blood” is primitive and repulsive to the modern mind and that we shouldn’t sing songs like that. Some hymnals have even taken out all mention of the blood of Christ because it offends some people. But it is the blood of Jesus that cleanses us from every sin (1 John 1:7).
Some 220 years ago there was a man in England by the name of William Cowper. He had a nervous disposition and often struggled with bouts of severe depression. At one point he became extremely depressed, fearing that he was under the wrath of God. “I flung myself into a chair by the window and there saw the Bible on the table by the chair. I opened it up and my eyes fell on Romans 3:25, which says of Christ, ‘Whom God has made a propitiation through faith in his blood.’ Then and there, I realized what Christ’s blood had accomplished and I realized the effects of his atonement for me. I realized God was willing to justify me, and then and there, I trusted Jesus Christ and a great burden was lifted from my soul.”
Looking back on that day, William Cowper wrote a hymn that we still sing today:
There is a fountain filled with blood
Drawn from Immanuel’s veins.
And sinners plunged beneath that flood
Lose all their guilty stain.
Has the blood of Jesus ever been applied to your heart? Never be ashamed of the blood of Christ for that blood has opened the door of heaven.
We thank you, Holy Father, for the blood of Jesus that cleanses us from every sin. Amen.