Garland Of Grace – 01.19.16

08-16-77 (2)

A Fence, Festering Termites, and the Blood Of Christ

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

Back in the spring of 1977, my family moved from Mississippi to Tennessee. Our new home was located in the Cordova area on the east side of Memphis. Later that summer, my father decided to have the back yard enclosed with a nice quality wood fence. The fence was new, fresh, and strong. It outlined the borders of our property, and gave my brother and myself a place to play.  (The fence is in the background of the picture of my brother and I) But surprisingly, the lifespan of that sturdy fence was only thirteen years. In the summer of 1990, we tore it down because of decay and rot. The damage was not as evident on the outside as it was on the inside.  As my brother and I busted up sections of the fence with sledgehammers, signs of internal decay became clearly evident. Particular sections had become infested with termites. Years later, after working at a paint store, I learned that wood needs to be treated regularly to be protected from the elements of nature such as weather, mildew, and bugs.  The reason why the fence did not last any longer than it did was because we did not regularly protect and preserve it by sealing it.

This snapshot from the memory album of my life reminded me of a life truth about sin.  Sin does to man what the termites did to the fence. Just like the fence, we appear fine on the outside, while on the inside, a process of destruction known as sin eats away at our hearts like a deadly cancer.  No wonder the great puritan preacher of yesteryear Thomas Watson suggested that “sin is to the soul as rust is to gold.”  Sin is like a feverish heat that sets the soul of man aflame, leaving horrific scorch marks of destruction.

The cure for this gruesome disease called sin is Jesus Christ. By trusting in Him, His royal, regal, redeeming, righteous, crimson blood covers your sin and the Holy Spirit will protect and preserve your salvation by sealing you until the day of redemption (Ephesians 4:30).  Because of the severity of sin, it would be wise for you to take heed to these warnings and protect yourself from sin by making sure that your heart has been sealed by the Holy Spirit of almighty God.

Within our scripture passage above, the Bible makes it clear that your sins are against God, and are as offensive to Him as “scarlet.” But, by His crimson blood, they can be forgiven and wiped clean.  Did you catch that; a blood stain makes you clean.  Most stains do not act as cleansing agents, but the blood stain of our crucified Savior does.  As you probe into this verse further, you can’t help but notice the poetic language. A writing method referred to as “Hebrew parallelism” is apparent within this beautiful verse. Hebrew parallelism was a repetitive wording method that the Hebrew writers used to drive home a point.  Listen for it in our text…scarlet to snow…crimson to wool.  Both statements drive home the same message.  This was done to explain the powerful cleansing effect of the blood of our Lord. Man certainly has a sin problem that destroys from within, as did the termite infested fence.   But the Lord Jesus is the only one that can prevent the destructive power of sin in our lives.

Have you accepted this free gift of cleansing from the Lord?  The gift goes by the name of Jesus.  If not, do so today.  Only His blood can stop the destructive power of sin!  Just like the Israelites marked their doorpost with the blood of a spotless lamb to be protected from the wrath of God (Exodus 12:22-23), make sure the door of your heart is stained with the blood of Jesus, the Lamb of God (John 1:29).

 – Pastor Eric

(Weird fact…the day the picture above was taken was August 16, 1977 – The day Elvis died!)

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