Last night someone managed to rub their bike chain against my new white BJJ gi (Brazilian Jiu Jitsu uniform). I was annoyed to say the least. It was on the back of the pants near my backside, where the jacket would probably cover, but I'd always know it was there. Accident, but very annoying.
After spraying it with a stain remover, soaking it and then washing it, I still needed to apply some soap and elbow grease before the stains came out, and then another machine wash to rinse it through. As I was scrubbing, it came to me that just as I would never be satisfied with a gi that had a stain on it, black standing out on white - that sin spoils our character, who we are as people made in God's image. As I scrubbed I realised both the significance of the cross in erasing our sin, and the ongoing nature of scrubbing known as sanctification. It takes real effort to erase our sinful habits and inclinations, and sometimes we ourselves can't remove the consequences - there are marks always to remind us even if the stain is largely gone. We have to await the final washing, the bringing to completion of that which was begun in us; hence these two texts:
“Come now, and let us reason together,”
Says the Lord,
“Though your sins are as scarlet,
They will be as white as snow;
Though they are red like crimson,
They will be like wool." (NASB)
Achieved on the cross.
For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus. (NASB)
So start scrubbing!