“For though thou wash thee with nitre, and take thee much soap, yet thine iniquity is marked before me, saith the Lord GOD.”
Jeremiah compassionately proclaimed the Word of the Lord to God’s people. They were a backslidden nation, guilty on many counts of consistent and intentional sin. Their transgressions were not hidden from God. The prophet said there was no possible way, humanly speaking, for their sins to be cleansed. Jeremiah spoke of the futility of removing sin by physical washing: “For though thou wash thee with nitre, and take thee much soap,” it could not take away their sin stain.
The stains of our sins may sometimes be hidden from ourselves or others, but those marks cannot be hidden from God. To His people, God said, “thine iniquity is marked before me.” The sins of these people were clearly visible to their Maker. Men may attempt in different ways to cover or hide sin, but to no avail. Some are hopeful that good works may somehow cover up the evil that we have done, but the mark of sin will still remain. Others think that the waters of baptism might in some way wash the stain of sins away, but baptism cannot remove sin. There is only one solution for our sin problem. The songwriter said it this way, “What can wash away my sin? Nothing but the blood of Jesus. What can make me whole again? Nothing but the blood of Jesus. Oh! Precious is the flow that makes me white as snow. No other fount I know, nothing but the blood of Jesus.” The only provision for the spots and stain of sin is the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross. Without the application of His vicarious death, there can be no cleansing and forgiveness for sin.
Thank God for what the death of Christ and His bodily resurrection mean to us. There was no hope for us to ever be reconciled to God. The mark of our sins could not be removed from the sight of our Holy Creator. But when the blood was applied to our lives, when we by faith trusted in Jesus for salvation, the stains of our sins were made white as snow. We can be free from our past and have a clear conscience before God because we have been washed and made pure by His blood. We do not have to carry the guilt of past sins if we have received Christ as Savior. Our hearts should never tire of thanking Him and praising Him for His goodness to us, and we must keep telling the wondrous story to those who have never heard.