Do you like washing up? I do. Chores are my domain in the house and I enjoy them; honest. That’s because I’m a little Obsessive Compulsive. I like things clean. Ergo, I like to clean; because cleaning makes me feel like I am returning things back to their original state, the way they were supposed to be.

And so it is little wonder I find it interesting that our Father uses the metaphor of washing up to demonstrate to us just what being saved means. He says,

“Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean;
Put away the evil of your doings from before My eyes….” Isaiah 1:16

To Him, being saved is like washing up, because sin is like dirt. As we ‘run about and play’ in this world that we live in, we get a little dirty, a little dusty; we fall into ditches and get a little muddy. So a good scrub is necessary.

There is also much beauty in this metaphor of washing up because in it belies our Father’s love for us. So let us spend some time today and study the art of washing up and see just how prized we are in our Father’s eyes.

You never wash what you can discard
Doreen was clearing out her cupboard the other day and she found certain articles that had been left and forgotten. Unsurprisingly, on many of those things had settled a thick layer of dust. Now, technically, many of those things were still ‘serviceable’. I say ‘serviceable’ and not ‘usable’ because they were mostly decorative mementos which had little practical ‘use’. So the decision whether or not to keep those items came down to whether they were valuable enough for us to bother cleaning them up.

And isn’t that so true of many of us too? If you took out a jacket from your wardrobe and found that it had been left unused for so long, it had time to cultivate its own fungi garden, there would be only one reason why you would bother cleaning it – it was valuable to you. Whether it be sentimental value or dollar value, the only reason why you would bother cleaning things up and trying to restore them to their original condition is if they still mattered to you, still were valued by you.

So when our Father tells us to

“Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean;
Put away the evil of your doings from before My eyes….” Isaiah 1:16

Do you think that we are of value to Him?

Now that’s a silly question, isn’t it? Of course we must be. Else why would He want us cleaned up? If we weren’t valuable, He would have just wiped us off the face of the earth like He did the giants and other abominations that were walking the earth during the time of Noah. So we are indeed prized. But just how prized are we?

What God wants of us, He does for us
For this, I’m going to take a poll. But before I ask the question, I want you to think of the most valuable possession you own. Don’t just think in terms of monetary value. Many things that are of value to us have value because of other, more sentimental reasons. Got it? Now, do you wash it yourself or would you have someone else wash it for you? You do it yourself, wherever possible, don’t you? Why? That’s right, because you don’t trust anyone else to do it for you. And that’s the God’s honest truth (pardon the pun). For the more valuable the item is to us, the less likely we are able to entrust its care to another.

Now consider this.

““Come now, and let us reason together,”
Says the Lord,
“Though your sins are like scarlet,
They shall be as white as snow;
Though they are red like crimson,
They shall be as wool.”” Isaiah 1:18

Two verses ago, God just told us to go wash ourselves. But look at what He is saying now, ‘They shall be as while as snow’, ‘They shall be as wool’. Did He say, ‘You shall make them as white as snow’? Did He say, ‘You shall make them as wool’? No. In fact, here is how Wycliffe translates it.

“And come ye, and prove ye me, saith the Lord. Though your sins be as blood-red, those shall be made white as snow; and though they be red as vermilion, they shall be white as wool. (And come ye, and prove ye me out, saith the Lord. And though your sins be as red as blood, they shall be made as white as snow; and though they be as red as vermilion, they shall be made as white as wool.)” Isaiah 1:18 [WYC]

‘they shall be made as white as snow’, ‘they shall be made as white as wool’. ‘they shall be made’. Notice who is the one doing the cleaning up? That’s right, it’s in the passive voice, no one is mentioned, not even you. So who is doing the cleaning?

“And supper being ended, the devil having already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray Him, Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and was going to God, rose from supper and laid aside His garments, took a towel and girded Himself. After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded.” John 13:2-5

This is, without doubt, the most famous passage on washing up in the Bible. And the Spirit has this deliberately recorded to show us that hey, when our Father tells us to go wash up, He goes and does it for us. For while Jesus only washed His disciples feet, He also tells us why there is only a need for our feet to be washed. He says,

“He who is bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean;…” John 13:10

So how is it that we are already clean? That’s because the moment we received the blood of Jesus as our sin covering, we were, in God’s eyes, completely bathed, washed clean from head to toe;

“For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.” Matthew 26:28

You see beloved, you are so valuable to our Father that He doesn’t even trust you to get yourself clean. And He wants you clean so much, He does it for you. That is how much He loves you.

You only bathe once

But you know what? The pinnacle of this love story between our Father and us is the fact that we only need to bathe once. So effective and so powerful is the redeeming blood of Christ, that once we have received it, we will never ever be counted as sinful again.

“For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit,” 1 Peter 3:18

He suffered once, the just for the unjust, and by that, He has brought us to God. That’s done and dusted. Nothing more to do.

“For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all;…” Romans 6:10

And that is why,

“There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.” Romans 8:1

“For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” John 3:17

So does that mean that all we need to do now is wash our feet? Yes, it means exactly that. But why?

You see, when we move around in the world, when we get exposed to the influences of you-know-who, we get a little swayed, we ‘step into the mud’. And when that happens; just like Joshua who, when he got a little ‘dirty’ in the Spirit, started getting accused by the devil (Zechariah 3:1); we too experience the same kind of guilt and shame each and every time we fall back into sin.

And that is precisely when we need to have our feet washed. For just like Joshua, for whom the Lord said,

“The Lord rebuke you, Satan! The Lord who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you! Is this not a brand plucked from the fire?”” Zechariah 3:2

So too does our Father stand ready to defend us and rebuke Satan for making us feel needlessly guilty, for on the cross,

“Surely He has borne our griefs (sicknesses, weaknesses, and distresses) and carried our sorrows and pains [of punishment], yet we [ignorantly] considered Him stricken, smitten, and afflicted by God [as if with leprosy].
But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our guilt and iniquities; the chastisement [needful to obtain] peace and well-being for us was upon Him, and with the stripes [that wounded] Him we are healed and made whole.” Isaiah 53:4-5 [AMPC]

But on our end, we need to be reminded of that too, don’t we? For even though Jesus said,

“You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you.” John 15:3

The world’s accusations can be rather convincing. So who does the reminding?

“…the Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener, Standby), the Holy Spirit, Whom the Father will send in My name [in My place, to represent Me and act on My behalf], He will teach you all things. And He will cause you to recall (will remind you of, bring to your remembrance) everything I have told you.” John 14:26

So you see, beloved child of God, our Father knows that mere words cannot adequately express just how much He loves you. And that is why He uses His actions to show you just how greatly prized you are.

Yes, He wants you clean. But you are so valuable to Him that He would not trust anyone else to clean you up, not even you. So He sent Jesus to suffer and die, so that by His blood, you may be made thoroughly clean.

And now that you are clean, spend time in the Word and let the Spirit continually remind you of just how loved you are, so that you will always enjoy the full joy of being clean.

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