Wednesday, January 19

Sanitation Issues

Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you doubleminded. --James 4:8

In the movie "What About Bob?", Bill Murray plays a man named Bob Wiley, a wildly neurotic yet strangely winsome sociopath who catastrophizes about diseases he doesn't have and death-by-bladder-explosion. He makes every attempt possible to avoid direct contact with walls, doors, and even people, by placing a tissue in between himself and the object of contact. Throughout the movie we witness him push an elevator button, dial a pay phone, and open a car door, all from behind the protective sheath of his tissue barrier. In defense of his germ-phobic behavior, he tells one woman "it's not you, it's me" as he proceeds to disinfect a phone receiver with a sanitizing spray.

The world we live in is contaminated, though not quite in the way that Bob Wiley understands. We live in a world that has been tainted by sin. Each of us, even when behaving to the best of our moral capabilities, is a far cry from the holiness our our creator God. Our sin has, in effect, set up a barrier between us and God. God, because of the very nature of his perfection and sovereignty, cannot even stand to look upon us in our sin. Our humanity prevents us from coming close to God. Even though God loves us, this verse seems to say that the contamination from our sinfulness makes him say "it's not you, it's me". If we want to be near to God, he requires that we undergo a cleansing process.

In the days of the Old Testament, before the Messiah came, special ceremonies were carried out for that very purpose. The Levite tribe was the tribe of priests who served as a mediator between God and his chosen people. The book of Leviticus contains very detailed descriptions of the "spiritual sanitization" process that the Levites were required to follow. By doing these things, they were considered clean and could then approach God on behalf of his people and ask for atonement for their sins.

When Jesus came, he eliminated the need for priests to intercede for us. Jesus is the only one who ever lived that was not infected by mankind's natural sin. Because of Jesus, we are not required to follow the strict guidelines of the Old Testament Jews. When we believe in the work done on the cross through Christ's death and resurrection, we acknowledge that Jesus took our place and paid for our sins. Because of him, there is no longer a barrier between us and God.

When we are called before God and have to face judgment for our lives here on earth, we don't need to be worried about God saying "it's not you, it's me." God looks favorably on us despite the fact that we are sinners because we can point to Jesus and claim that we have become spiritually sanitized. The blood of Jesus Christ is where we wash our hands, and his righteousness is what will purify our hearts enabling us to draw near to God.



Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home

Page copy protected against web site content infringement by Copyscape
Would you like to receive Pools of Grace in your email?
Enter email and click Subscribe: