There is a desire inside of us that I think we pretty much share universally. Some people are more particular than others, but we all share the desire to be clean. We want clean homes, clean bodies, clean cities. No one likes to come home and have the house smell like the trash can; or to come home and find bugs crawling over the kitchen counter. “Yuck!” we say because we rightly associate dirt and filth with germs and disease. We don’t want to be unclean.

There is also a spiritual component to this desire to be clean. We want cleanliness because we want a clean soul. We know in our hearts that our thoughts are not always decent, that our lives are not always pure and that we do things that make us feel dirty. So we try to clean everything in our lives in the hopes that maybe if our environment is cleaner, our souls will be cleaner, too. Lady Macbeth wandered about the castle her hands stained with the guilt of murder and she cried out, “Will these hands never be clean?” How do you clean a human soul?

The answer to that question is to look somewhere else than your environment or even inside your own soul. It is to look to our Savior, Jesus Christ. He was born with a pure soul. And his pure soul caused him to live a pure life. And his pure life led him to the cross with all its shame and ugliness. And in purity of soul he took upon himself the impurity of your soul. He took your sin, with all its shame and ugliness. And now, being shameful and ugly himself, he was pinned to a shameful and ugly cross. And there he died an ugly death but accomplished a beautiful goal: the purity of your soul and mine.

What Jesus did on the cross was to pay for our sin and then cover us with his righteousness. When he rose from the dead on Easter, that was God telling you and me that he had accepted Christ's payment. That he no longer considered your impure.

And now you're clean. So go and live clean.