Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me and I will be whiter than snow. Psalm 51:7
Imagine living in total isolation from your family and friends. Over time, your once smooth, clear skin slowly becomes covered in pale blotches. Sores begin to infect your body, and pretty soon, your face becomes unrecognizable. You feel alone. Ostracized. Completely unwanted and unloved. Millions of people in the world experience these feelings everyday–and suffer with the debilitating disease of leprosy.
Leprosy is a progressive bacterial disease that slowly attacks the skin and nervous system. Symptoms include pale patches on the skin, skin lesions, loss of sensation, and deformities on the eyes, nose, earlobes, hands, and feet that over time leave the victim highly disfigured and deformed (source).
In many ways, sin is a lot like leprosy. If not treated, it will slowly infect a person’s entire being, permeating its deadly poison into the depths of our souls. There was a time when I felt spiritually maimed and isolated. Trapped in my own broken body, I was unable to gain victory over the sin that eroded my soul.
But thank God that there is a remedy!
Jesus came to turn the cloak of disease and death into the clean garments of his divine holiness and purity.
In Mark 1:40 a man covered in leprosy (the Greek word also refers to other types of skin diseases) approaches Jesus on his knees in complete desperation.
“Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.” Filled with compassion, Jesus reached out and touched the man. “I am willing.”
The next two words from Jesus completely changed the leprous man’s life forever:
It was as if Jesus commanded the leprosy to leave this man’s body—and he was completely restored (vs 42).
There are times when we all feel dirty, filthy, unclean and unworthy of God’s love. But know this:
Jesus has spoken words of healing over you—and you are clean.
No matter what you have done in the past or what has been done to you, in Christ you are declared clean. You are forgiven, whole, and renewed.
In the book of Leviticus any person infected with leprosy or any other skin disease had to go through a ritual cleansing performed by a priest in order to be declared clean. Hyssop branches were dipped in water and in the blood of a bird and was sprinkled on the contaminated person seven times (Leviticus 14:6-7).
It reminds me of David’s heartfelt prayer in Psalm 51:7:
Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me and I will be whiter than snow.
When we come to Jesus, we don’t have to jump through seven hoops or undergo a major ceremonial cleansing in order to be forgiven of our sins. Three words uttered from the mouth of Jesus on the cross have brought our complete healing:
“It is finished.” John 19:30
The cleansing work has already been done by our Savior. We are declared clean. His healing work is finished and continues to work in our lives. So release yourself from the sins of your past. Christ’s work is enough!
There is healing power in his words.
When Jesus speaks, mountains move. Demons flee; and diseases are destroyed.
When he says it is finished—it is done.
So put on your clean garments of his hope, healing, and holiness, and live your life in true victory.
Be clean. Be healed—and be free.
You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. John 15:3
May you forever walk in the cleansing power, freedom, and healing we have in Christ!