Author’s note: every week I run across good stories and illustrations that I just don’t have enough time for in my sermon. Today’s story is a challenging one that was left on the cutting room floor for my sermon on March 18, 2018 from Jeremiah 31:31-34. I have the source listed as “Adapted from Andrew H. Rogers, https://sermons.logos.com/submissions/11254-The-Blood#content=/submissions/11254.”
One night in a church service a young woman felt the tug of the Holy Spirit in her heart. She responded to God’s call and accepted Jesus as her Lord and Savior. The young woman had a very rough past, involving alcohol, drugs and prostitution. But, the change in her was evident. As time went on she became a faithful member of the church. She eventually became involved in the ministry of the church. It was not very long until this physically and spiritually beautiful young woman caught the eye and the heart of the pastor’s son. The relationship grew, he asked her to marry him, and they began to make wedding plans. This is when the problems began.
You see, about one half of the church did not think that a woman with a past such as hers was suitable for the pastor’s son. The church began to argue and fight about the matter. So they decided to have a meeting. As the people made their arguments and tensions increased, the meeting got completely out of hand. The young woman became very upset about all the things being brought up about her past. As she began to cry, the pastor’s son stood to speak. He could not bear the pain all this was causing the woman he loved who was soon to be his wife. He began to speak and his statement was this: “My fiancé’s past is not what is on trial here. What you are questioning is the ability of Christ to wash away our sin and make us new persons. Maybe we are even questioning whether or not Christ can wash away my and your sins, even the worst of them. So, does he wash away sin or not?”
The whole church began to weep as they realized that they had been slandering the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. Too often, even as Christians, we bring up the past and use it as a weapon against our brothers and sisters. Forgiveness is a foundational part of the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. If the blood of Jesus does not cleanse the other person completely then it cannot cleanse us completely. If that is the case, then we are all in a lot of trouble. What can wash away my sins? Nothing but the blood of Jesus! End of case!!!!
It is a powerful question: Does Christ wash away sin or not? If he does not, we are all in trouble. What about us? Are we willing to give a second chance? In Jeremiah, God says to us, “I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.” In Jeremiah, the people of Israel had completely broken their covenant promises and God was upset. They had blown it big time. Only a miracle could save them now. That miracle was to be found in the love, forgiveness, and second chances of God.