Isaiah 1:18b …though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.
Blueberries are considered by some to be a “superfood” – one loaded with antioxidants and other natural ingredients that are more beneficial to the human body than many other foods. I like blueberries because they’re tasty. Blueberry pie, blueberry preserves, blueberries on ice cream and on pancakes: they taste good! Any health benefits are a bonus.
But blueberries stain. A former co-worker who was a collector of interesting artifacts brought a small, hollowed-out block of wood into work one day and asked what I thought it was. I had no clue. The wood was dark, with the bowl-like portion almost black in color. He explained that the item had been used by New England-area Native Americans to crush berries (including the ubiquitous blueberry) to make their face-decorating paints. The stain in the wood was permanent. Nothing could possibly restore that wood to its original color.
The stain of sin darkens our being much more dreadfully than any natural object stains our clothing. Sin is universal; our flesh naturally craves it, virtually from birth, and its penalty is life-destroying. We can replace our clothes, but our souls are permanent and eternal, and what can possibly cleanse such a pervasive evil? The last line of the chorus and the title say it all: He washes sinners clean! We have the absolute promise in the Bible that if confess with our mouths the Lord Jesus and believe in our hearts that God has raised Him from the dead, we shall be saved; for whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved (Romans 10:9, 10:13). Not only does faith alone in Jesus’ finished work on the cross wash away past sins, but we also have the continuing promise that, when we do sin, He will cleanse those, too. There are those sins which so easily beset us (Hebrews 12:1), much like delving back into the jar of blueberry preserves. But He continues to wash sinners clean. If we confess our sins (to Him!) He is faithful and just to forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1John 1:9). Such precious promises, open to all who will believe (whosoever), and not just a few. So, the next time you top your pancakes with blueberry syrup or spill your coffee (another nasty stain), remember that the deeper, soul-destroying stain of sin can be washed away by trusting in the spilled blood of Jesus Christ – His finished work on the cross alone can cleanse the stain away. He washes sinners clean!