It had been one of those days. Busy, disjointed, and generally out of sorts. So I was less than thrilled when I opened the dryer to discover a red marker without its cap among the load of newly washed clothes. Assessing the damage, I sighed heavily as I realized only a few pieces of the large load had been left untouched by crimson stains.

Knowing anger would prove fruitless, I grabbed the stain remover and went to work. Later, when the load had finished rewashing, I was thankful to see that all traces of red ink had disappeared.

When it comes to sin, no amount of manmade stain remover will ever work. Like a marker in the laundry, sin becomes visible, marking everything it touches. Our best efforts to make it go away leave us profoundly soiled and without hope (Isaiah 64:6). We are desperate for Jesus.

Both the Old and New Testaments tell us there can be no removal of sin without the shedding of blood (Leviticus 17:11; Hebrews 9:22).

While we attest to this truth verbally by confession, do our hearts grasp the enormity of it? We are covered by the precious blood of the spotless Lamb of God (1 Peter 1:18-19). Pure, undefiled, undeserving of our sin, Jesus' blood was spilled on our behalf. Not a casual marking here and there. It was a saturation, leaving an indelible mark of love and mercy. For the believer, real life flows from a bloodstained Savior.

His sacrifice demands a response, not because He is demanding, but because His gift leaves us without excuse (Ephesians 1:7). When the magnitude of His sacrifice brings our sin and His hope to light, we realize: Repentance is a way of life (1 John 1:7-9) and our hearts should be filled with gratitude to Jesus for His blood-stain on our lives (Colossians 1:12-14). , Regina Franklin

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