In Revelation 1:5, the apostle John pauses in his narrative to give a bit of spontaneous praise:
"To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood . . . .be glory and dominion for ever and ever."
What a picture! The whole "being washed in the blood of the Lamb" thing used to confuse me(and freak me out a little), until I read a wonderful explanation of the cleansing power of blood by the great missionary doctor, Paul Brand. God designed our red blood cells as the "clean up" crew of the body. Our bodies really are "washed by the blood." Dr. Brand's description (I believe it was in his book "Fearfully and Wonderfully Made") blessed me with a deeper understanding--and appreciation--of being washed by the blood of Christ.
I read about a different sort of washing yesterday. I was doing research on Varanasi, the most holy of cities to the Hindu people of India. If all went according to their plans, Candyce and her team are there right now. They were miraculously able to score 3rd class train tickets--this week is apparently a high holy week for the Hindus--and most modes of transportation had long ago been booked. But God made a way--and I can't wait to hear about their 120 degree, roach-infested, 30-hour train ride!
But back to the washing . . . one of the main attractions of Varanasi is the Ganges River. Devout Hindus from India and other nations make yearly pilgrimages to the ancient city so they can bathe in the Ganges River. They believe that when they wash in those sacred waters, their sins are washed away. Too bad the Ganges is one of the more polluted rivers on the planet!
Between chemical waste, human waste and the 50,000+ dead bodies dumped in the river each year, the Ganges has become become toxic. I watched one You-Tube video that showed a corpse floating down river while a man watched from the banks--while brushing his teeth in the river!
How tragically ironic! The very waters they trust to make them clean--both spiritually and physically--actually pollute the devout.
My prayer is that through Christ-followers like Candyce and her little band of ragamuffin saints, those seeking forgiveness will reject their death-tainted river and turn instead to the pure fountain of Life. And let the Lamb of God wash them clean in His own precious blood . . .