“For a child to become clean, something else must become dirty.”  Laws of Parenting, #2

I read the previous statement in an email recently and as I considered it among the others statements I could not help but realize how true this was.  It was meant to be humorous and most parents can relate if they only reflect back on bath time for the kids.  Almost without exception, the end result of a clean toddler or adolescent was a filthy tub or shower.  How many times have you mothers (or maybe even a dad or two) had to follow-up bath time with a cleanup of the tub or shower?  You remember the ring around the tub don’t you?  Or maybe it was the muddy hand prints on the tub walls or even the dirt that made it all the way to the towel when drying off.  Let’s face it! It’s true! For a child to become clean something else does have to get dirty!

Is this the only proof of the truth of this statement?  Not in the least!  How many of you have dipped paintbrushes into a crystal clear fluid only to see it immediately cloud up with the pigments of the paint on the brush?  In automotive repair shops there is a hand cleaner that aids in removing the grease and oil from the mechanics hands.  In the can it is a white cream but when rubbed on the hands it is transformed into a grimy, filthy carrier of the dirt onto towels or rags or whatever is used to clean the hands.  Are you getting the picture?  For something to get clean, something else must become dirty.  The principle is universal for the most part and also has spiritual application as well.

In the book of Isaiah we read “For all of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment; and all of us wither like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.”  (Isaiah 64:6, NASB) The prophet tells us that we are unclean.  Even the “good deeds” we do “are like filthy garments.”  How did we get that way?  Simple.  The answer is Sin.  We are all sinners (Rom 3:23) and because of God’s holiness that sin separates us from Him (Isaiah 59:2).

Through Isaiah the Lord has reassured us that not all is lost though,  “Though your sins are as scarlet, they will be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they will be like wool.”  (Isaiah 1:18, NAS)  We can be cleansed! 

Wait a minute!  If I am to be cleansed something must get “dirty”.  The filth of my sin when leaving me will fall upon something else, isn’t that the premise of our understanding?  Yes, indeed something else carried away, and continues to carry away the filth of sin from me and from all that have their faith in God and His ways.  That something is none other than the Son of God and His “soul cleansing blood”.  On the cross of Calvary, one dark day, the Son of God faced the penalty we all deserve.  He was alone, forsaken by the Father Who had sent Him for this purpose.  

As a result of the anguish of His soul, He will see {it} and be satisfied; by His knowledge the Righteous One, My servant, will justify the many, as He will bear their iniquities.  Isaiah 53:11 (NAS)

Our sin rested squarely upon Him in His trial and we are cleansed.  He carried my sins to His grave, yet He did not remain there.  On the third day He arose and is now seated at the right hand of the Father making intercession for us. (Rom 8:34)  May God be praised without end for His mercy!

He made Him who knew no sin {to be} sin on our behalf, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.   2 Corinthians 5:21(NASB)

Copyright © 2005, Nolan P. Rutter

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