There is cleaning, and then there is deep cleaning. It’s one thing to dust, it’s another to disinfect. You can make the place look pretty good by stuffing things in the closets or drawers, but the real test comes when the drawers and closets themselves have been put in order. You can vacuum and keep the carpets looking pretty good, but eventually, you are going to need to wash them . . . apply some heat and steam . . . and maybe some brushes . . . and remove the junk that doesn’t just lie towards the surface.
As I continue to read in Hebrews this morning, I’m reminded that while the blood shed under the old covenant might have provided a cleansing, that the blood of Christ, shed to seal the new covenant, provides a deep clean.
For if the sprinkling of defiled persons with the blood of goats and bulls and with the ashes of a heifer sanctifies for the purification of the flesh, how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God. (Hebrews 9:13-14 ESV)
The blood shed under the Levitical sacrifices cleansed the surface. It paid the price for the sin and removed the blemish through atonement . . . until next time . . .when it was shed and applied again . . . and again. But it was powerless to cleanse the sinner. While it cleaned up, in a sense, the outer mess, the inner man was still in bondage to trying to live by a law that, by his very nature, he could not live up to. Thus, the need for a better covenant . . . based on a better promise . . . sealed through a better sacrifice. Thus the need for a deep clean.
Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! (John 1:29 ESV)
The blood of Christ . . . the incarnate Son of God . . . was offered through the eternal Spirit . . . as the once for all payment for all mankind’s sin. And for those who, by faith, apply that blood to their lives, there occurs a deep, deep clean. The conscience, purified . . . the soul, cleansed . . . the very nature of our being, disinfected . . . the old mess, given a new order. While the outside might not look a lot different, the inside has undergone a radical transformation.
And though the functionality of a house might not change a lot after a deep clean (though it might) . . . or the performance of a car doesn’t necessarily improve after a thorough, bumper-to-bumper detailing, the deep clean of a soul results in the lifting of a burden and in the redirecting of one’s energy.
The guilt of sin and the shame of “dead works” are removed. Not just covered up, but washed away through the blood of Christ as He bore the guilt and shame for our sin before a holy God on our behalf. There is no more condemnation (Rom. 8:1) for the price has been paid in full . . . for all my sin . . . even the deepest, darkest, of transgressions . . . even those most hidden away in the depths of our conscience. And when, through the Spirit of God, we come to a fuller and fuller realization of the depths of our cleansing . . . when the dead weight of those dead works is more and more removed as we appropriate more and more the finished work of the cross . . . then we become increasingly free to serve the living God.
And there is a redirecting of energy . . . a reassessing of priorities . . . a recalibrating of purpose. How amazing is it to think we can serve the living God? Pretty!
All because of a deep clean . . . by a great God!
By His grace . . . for His glory . . .