July 06, 2007

God's Solution

1 John 1:5-10

If we walk in the light ... [and] have fellowship ... the blood of Jesus ... purifies us from all sin. 1 John 1:7


Several years ago I took a practical course in pastoral care. I spent six months on a cancer floor in a hospital. One memory that has stayed with me is that sometimes it's necessary for something to be destroyed so that healing can occur. For example, treating leukemia often means destroying all of the patient's red blood cells, transplanting new bone marrow, and then waiting to see if that new marrow gives rise to new "clean" blood. When the treatment works, the joy is incredible. Patients who had lived under the threat of death by leukemia were restored to health and given renewed hope.

New, purified blood--when I think about this phrase in connection with Jesus, I begin to understand the gospel.

The Bible says a lot about the role of Jesus in forgiveness. But most powerful for me is that Jesus, through his death and resurrection, offers us his "marrow" of life. If we accept that and are willing to have all our own "red cells of sin" put to death, we are given new life through the transplant he gives to us. The good news is that with Jesus, the marrow never fails to take hold. The question is not what Jesus can do, but whether we understand and accept what God offers us in Jesus.

That, of course, depends on how much we really want to "mix" with God.

How are you doing on that these days?

Lord Jesus, help me to understand my need so that I may understand your gift. Please work the "marrow" of your salvation in my life, and draw me near to God. Amen.

About the author — Henry Kranenburg

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