Last week a rat jumped out of our dustbin and into our house, for hours afterwards we felt unclean and defiled by the vermin... there are things that make us feel that way... but what if the problem goes deeper?
If our hands are muddy we can clean them, if our hearts are muddy we have a real problem.
If it's not just a rat in the house but a rat in our hearts, what then can we do?
Jesus speaks to the Pharisees and says Isaiah is right.
They say "Keep your distance, we're holier than thou" (Isaiah 65:5), Isaiah is right: your hearts are far from God.
They're relationally estranged from God.
Jesus says: If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off.
If your eyes cause you to sin, pluck them out.
Hands and eyes aren't the problem, hearts are.
If your heart causes you to sin... cut it out and you die?
Our heart-deep distance from God is a death sentence.
What if there was a clean one?
What if there was one who wasn't defiled?
What if there was one whose heart was pure?
One who didn't keep his distance but moved toward us?
What if he died instead of us?
What if he could be put off instead of us?
What if The Clean One would become Unclean for us?
What if he took our place?
Then, Immanuel. God would move into our new hearts.
If it's about your hands then God is for the educated, and the respectable... If it's a heart thing then the playing field is level... anyone can come. Anyone can receive Christ.
Muddy Bobby approached The Queen and she thrust out her arm and took hold of his muddy hands. Much more, the Purifying King thrusts out both arms, in death, and takes hold of us.
Download: The Purifying King - Mark 7 (Dave Bish) - Arborfield Church, July 1st 2012, 25mins