The Saving Power of Christ's Blood
Jesus is the refuge for the unclean. There is no sin He cannot forgive; there is no stain He cannot remove; there is no failure He cannot forget. The leper in Mark 1:40-42 understood this well when he implored Jesus, "If You are willing, You can make me clean." Jesus, moved with compassion, touched him, and immediately he was cleansed. Jesus was the perfect refuge for this unclean leper!
Physically, leprosy is awful. Leprosy was the scourge of the ancient world. Nothing evoked more fear, more dread, or more revulsion than the sight of these "walking dead."
Spiritually, leprosy is a vivid and graphic picture of the dreadful power of sin. The instructions given to the priests in Leviticus 13 help us better understand the true nature of sin:
Sin, like leprosy, is inside us, deeper than the skin (Leviticus 13:3) and cannot be helped by mere "surface" measures (see Jeremiah 6:14). Sin also spreads just like leprosy (Leviticus 13:8). Sin always defiles (Leviticus 13:45-46). People with leprosy were looked on as "dead" (Numbers 12:12). Because of his defilement, a leprous person had to be isolated outside the camp (Leviticus 13:46), so lost sinners one day will be isolated in hell. And just as leprous garments are fit only for the fire (Leviticus 13:52, Leviticus 13:57), so those who die while clothed in sin will burn forever. How important it is for lost sinners to trust Jesus Christ and get rid of their "leprosy"!
We are all born infected with the sin virus that remains in our system. Like leprosy, sin becomes a part of every fiber of our life. It infects our every thought, motivation, word, and deed. Sin cannot be removed on our own; only Jesus Christ can loose us from its infection by thoroughly washing us in His blood.
The blood of Jesus Christ took a "leprous" man like John Newton and transformed him into one of the most respected men of his generation in eighteenth-century England. History notes that he had Alzheimer's disease before he died. In the last two years of his life, as he lay in bed, many of the notable people of England would come to visit him. Newton had lost his ability to remember except for one thing. He would tell his visitors, "My memory is nearly gone; but I remember two things; That I am a great sinner, and that Christ is a great Savior."
Christ's blood has the same power to cleanse and transform "leprous" men and women in our twenty-first-century world. Jesus Christ, through His blood, has paid the penalty of sin, has broken the power of sin, and will eliminate the presence of sin. What a wonderful Savior!
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