Our sin is staggeringly heinous! We are finite beings who have sinned against an infinite God. This means each of our transgressions, and we have many, are worthy of infinite wrath. We are prone to wander, and even as believers, we have defiled ourselves more recently than we would like to admit.
John Owen once said, speaking to Christians,
“Temptation is like a knife, that may either cut the meat or the throat of a man; it may be his food or his poison, his exercise or his destruction.”
There were likely several times this week that we put the knife to our throat, drank the poison, and destroyed just a little bit of ourselves.
Thomas Brooks once pointed out,
“As sinful commissions will stab the soul; so sinful omissions will starve the soul.”
And we have stabbed and starved our souls, for even though we have not fallen at every temptation, we have failed in both sinful commissions and sinful omissions. Some of us are reading this today, even as Christians, and we are bleeding to death. We are spiritually prostrate on the ground, weak and malnourished.
How do we stop the hemorrhage? The same cure that saved our soul, is the same cure that heals us daily. In Faith, we must lay our hands on the head of Jesus.
Under the old covenant, there were many ceremonial laws which were a shadow of how Jesus would eventually save us. Several of them, including the bull offering, required that the people lay their hands on the head of the animal before it was killed.
In the case of sin, Leviticus 1:4 tells us,
“He [the sinner] shall lay his hand on the head of the burnt offering, and it shall be accepted for him to make atonement for him.”
This, laying of the hand, was a picture of their sins being transferred to the animal, and the animal would be sacrificed in their place. When we came to faith, we laid our hands on the head of Jesus.
Every filthy transgression, willful and unintentional, that filled our soul with darkness, made our hands foul. All the soul-poisoning fallout, that severed and abused our peace with God and peace within, made our hands repulsively unclean. It was in this sinful condition that our pure and unblemished Savior said, “Lay your sin-soiled hands on my head.” Then, through the Holy Spirit’s work, He took them and placed them there Himself, for we did not have the strength. He then took our defilement to the cross and paid it all: washing us clean.
If you find yourself in a similar condition today because you have wandered from His side, and you have taken hold of temptation and inflicted yourself with many wounds. Or if you have starved yourself by not attending to the things of God, He is reminding you, right now, to find your healing in Him.
Before this moment, you may not have had the strength to move, but if as you read this, you find your heart stirring with godly sorrow, along with a desire to wash under the cleansing fount, through the Holy Spirit, Jesus has come down to where you are. He has taken your hands and positioned them on His head, and He is saying to you, “Give me your filth and be clean, then go and sin no more. I love you and want you to walk with me.”