The owner of an old Scottish mansion had the walls of one room filled with sketches made by famous artists. It all began after a pitcher of soda water was accidentally spilled on a freshly decorated wall. It left a hideous stain.
It just so happened that a noted artist was a guest in the house. One day when the family went out to the moors, the artist stayed behind. With a few masterful strokes of a piece of charcoal, that unsightly spot became the outline of a beautiful waterfall, bordered by trees and wildlife. The gifted man turned that blemished wall into one of his most beautiful depictions of that part of Scotland.
Likewise, we have an impossible stain in our lives called sin. No cleansing agent can wash away this sin. No earthly artist can touch it up and make it go away. Nothing can remove this mark in our lives except the touch of Christ’s hand.
In the Bible there is a story about a leper who wanted to be healed (Matthew 8:1-4). In Jesus’ day, people who had leprosy were considered unclean. They were not allowed to stay in their own homes or live with their families. When people came close to lepers, the lepers had to cry out, “Unclean, unclean,” so the people would know to run away and not come near. No one would consider touching someone with this dreaded contagious disease, as they might receive it too.
Sin is like leprosy because it destroys our homes, hurts our families, makes us say things we do not want to say, and causes people to run away from us.
But this particular leper was drawn to Christ. Jesus deeply loved all people, including lepers. In order to illustrate the power of God to heal and forgive sin, Jesus touched this sick man. Even the Lord’s disciples discouraged Jesus from getting close to this man. But Christ willingly removed the impossible stain from the leper.
Like the leper, we are spiritually unclean and need to be cleansed of sin. The Bible says, “We have all sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23). Like leprosy, sin goes down deep. It is deadly. It is a stain impossible — from a human point of view — to wash away.
Isaiah describes it perfectly when he writes in Isaiah 1:5-6, “The whole head is sick, and the whole heart faints. From the sole of the foot even to the head, there is no soundness in it, but wounds and bruises and putrefying sores.”
Yet, we may have hope in the master’s touch. Christ did more than speak a word to heal this leper. He didn’t just instruct him to go wash somewhere. The Lord touched him. Christ came to touch not only people who were physically ill, but spiritually defiled. Jesus touched people diseased with sin — and he is just as willing to touch us today as well.
Like the leper who fell at the feet of Jesus, will you come to him just as you are and kneel before him? You, too, may say, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.” Jesus will hear and reply, like he did for the leper 2,000 years ago, “I am willing; be cleansed.”