“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for her to make her holy, cleansing her with the washing of water by the word. He did this to present the church to Himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or anything like that, but holy and blameless“ (Eph. 5:25-27).
Our pastor read the above verses on Sunday during his sermon on Revelation 14. This was one verse he used to explain the 144,000 who are described as virgins and follow the Lamb wherever he goes. It was a beautiful application. The 144,000 picture the church, those who are Christ’s virgin bride through His death.
As we read the verses from Ephesians, the Holy Spirit struck my heart through the words, “without spot or wrinkle.” I paused to re-read those words, and the Lord said, “You feel spotted and wrinkled—all the time.”
It’s true. “Spotted and wrinkled” actually doesn’t begin to approach what I feel about myself deep down most of the time. Like Lady MacBeth, who sees blood on her hands after washing every night, I am a stain I can’t get out. What is more, I feel like people must be able to see I’m a stain. My unspoken assumption is that I’m a disappointment, someone you might make a face about.
How beautiful to read those verses in Ephesians, and see that I am without spot or wrinkle. And thank God it is not for me to make myself spotless and wrinkle-free. Jesus gave Himself up to make me that way.
Our Husband is in love with us—no regrets, no reservations. I am praying His word washes me. It isn’t stains I need to be cleansed of but the lie that I am still stained, that Jesus’s death and resurrection couldn’t quite do the job. If this resonates with any readers, know that I will be praying for you as well as myself.
“You desire truth in the inward parts, And in the hidden part You will make me to know wisdom. Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow” (Psalm 51:6-7).