As I sit here writing this, I'm looking at the leftovers of Christmas. My living room floor is covered with toys, clothes and the occasional piece of wrapping paper. My kitchen floor is a bit sticky, and my kitchen table has the fingerprints of the many who have eaten and played at it this weekend. Clearly, my home is in need of some post-Christmas clean-up. The next few days will be spent finding homes for new things and cleaning out some old ones.
Sometimes our lives need a little clean-up as well. We need to clean out the sin, so we can be left with a clean slate. We just spent weeks celebrating the birth of Christ -- the One who makes it possible for us to be clean. The Israelites of the Old Testament were very concerned with being "clean." God had given them a whole bunch of rules that would allow them to be ceremonially "clean." They could only eat certain foods and touch certain things if they wanted to remain "clean." If they committed certain sins, they had to offer certain sacrifices to God to atone for those sins.
Jesus' birth and death changed all that. He became the sacrifice for all of our sins. We no longer have to worry about what we eat or what we touch or what sacrifice to offer. Jesus became the sacrifice that atones for all of our sins. He made us "clean." All we have to do is ask for God's forgiveness and ask Jesus to be in charge of our lives.
David said it best in Psalm 51:2 when he wrote "Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin." That's what Jesus came to do -- to cleanse us. As you learn this verse this week and go about your post-Christmas cleaning, use it as an opportunity to share with your children how Jesus' sacrifice makes us clean.
- If you're sorting toys to get rid of and make room for the new things your children got for Christmas, talk with your kids about how God sorts out our sin and removes it from our lives. Remind them that Jesus was the sacrifice that made that possible.
- Have your kids help wash the dishes one night. Give them an exceptionally dirty plate and have them wash it. As the food is coming off, talk with your kids about how our sins are like the food on the plate. They stick to us, but because Jesus died on the cross, God can make us clean, just like the water and soap clean the plate.
- Help your kids wash their hands after digging in the dirt. As the dirt comes off, talk with your kids about how God washes the "dirt" of sin off of us through Jesus' sacrifice, just like when we wash our hands. Jesus' sacrifice allows God to wash us clean, just like we wash our hands of dirt.