“They shall wash their hands and their feet so that they may not die. It shall be a statute forever for them, even to him and his offspring throughout their generations.”
This verse is talking about the cleanliness, the absolute holiness and complete purity that was required for the priests to be in the presence of God. This whole washing ritual, says they shall wash their hands and their feet so they may not die, their life was dependent on being clean in the presence of God.
Again, we’ve seen this picture of the need for holiness among the priests and in the book of Exodus, but I want to encourage you in a fresh way, just as I was encouraged in my own life, reading this today. One, I’m a sinner. It’s not possible for me to be in the presence of God without Jesus, so just be reminded of the gospel, the grace of God in Christ that makes that possible, but then, two, I was just praying God wash me all the more clean, in my life. Just thinking about sin in my life that I want to be purified from. I think about temptation and I’m so quick to run to. I think my about my pride. Oh I want to be purified from all pride, all selfish desire, constantly thinking about myself.
I just, I see this and I see the sinfulness of it, the uncleanliness of it, in communion with God and I’m just brought to me knees to say God make me clean. Wash me clean. Purify me. It’s not a physical washing of hands and feet, but it’s just a pleading for God to make me holy, make me pure, make me clean. Obviously he has done that, ultimately in Christ. Christ has paid the penalty for my sin, but this is a daily thing that the priest would do, and there’s a sense in which it’s a daily thing we should do, just to come before God to examine our hearts and to say, God I need to be clean. I need to be clean.
In a 1 John 1:9 kind of way, we confess our sins. He’s faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. So we pray, oh God, purify us. Purify me, I pray, those who are listening. Help us to see sin in our lives. Maybe even sin that we don’t recognize or realize. God help us to hate it. Help us to hate sin, and God we pray that you would wash us clean. Make us pure. Make our thoughts pure. Make our desires pure. Make our motivations pure and holy and give us a holy ambition for you.
God deliver us from ourselves, from our tendency to sin in all kinds of different ways. Lord help us to do all that you’re calling us to do. Help us not to hold back. God we pray, cleanse us. Make us clean we pray. By the blood of Christ, by the grace that is available through his sacrifice on the cross, cleanse us of all unrighteousness and make us righteous. Make us holy. Make us clean today, we pray. Wash us clean, that we might walk in unhindered communion with you, worship of you. Today, in Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.