What can wash away my sin?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus;
What can make me whole again?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.
Refrain: Oh! precious is the flow
That makes me white as snow;
No other fount I know,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.
I recently watched a movie in which this hymn was sung. I began to find myself repeating these words over and over again in my head. Then it struck me: this is where marriage reconciliation begins! It begins with the atoning blood of Jesus Christ!
A very wise pastor and friend counseled me during the early part of my marriage problems. He recognized my problem in just a few minutes of our conversation. He told me that he felt I had a spiritual problem, and asked me this simple but far reaching question… “How is your walk with Jesus Christ?” His question took me back at first, as I had come to him for advice on relationship problems I was having with my wife, not about my walk with Jesus Christ.
As we talked, I revealed to him that although I had been “churched” all my life, I had never truly accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. Looking back on my life, I felt there was too much sin in my life to warrant a place in God’s family. I just was not good enough. I considered myself a “work’s person”… not enough good works (deeds) in my life to offset the bad works (deeds).
I had expressed these same thoughts several years before to a former pastor as we discussed the recent death of my first wife of 42 years. I stated that I did not think I would see my wife again when I died because I was not “good enough” to go to heaven. Please note that at that time in my life, I had no understanding of GRACE. My pastor sent me to 1 John 1:9 (ERV):
This passage was comforting but as I had never embraced an understanding of God’s grace, this passage did not take me far enough to make the commitment that Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior.
Note: Over the months of troubles in my marriage, I came to understand God’s grace. It was then that I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior.
Coming back to the concept of marriage reconciliation, the question is: what is one’s approach to marriage and to marriage reconciliation? Is it based upon a firm relationship with Jesus Christ or is it one that is shaky or nonexistent? Eventually, this same question should be asked of one’s spouse (their relationship with Jesus Christ and their commitment to Him in their personal walk with Jesus Christ. We cannot fully address this aspect in our spouse’s life as it is their own personal walk, their personal decision).
As I read and study about marriage reconciliation and listen to other people’s experiences, one thing has become crystal clear to me… a faith in and a relationship with Jesus Christ by both individuals in the marriage relationship is necessary for a true and lasting marriage reconciliation. Marriage needs to be built upon the solid rock of Jesus Christ.
The question asked in the hymn lyrics above, “What can wash away my sin? Nothing but the blood of Jesus; What can make me whole again? Nothing but the blood of Jesus.”
Yes, it is Jesus Christ’s atoning sacrifice on Calvary’s cross where He shed His life’s blood for you and me. It is His shed blood that washes our sins away and makes us whole again.
As Christians, we all celebrate Holy Communion in our worship services. Look with me at Apostle Paul as he speaks about Holy Communion:
As Paul stated, the cup (wine or juice) represents Jesus Christ’s shed blood, the beginning of God’s new agreement or covenant with His family (you and me). We are to remember Christ’s blood sacrifice is for the atonement of our sins. The lyrics say… “What can wash away my sin? Nothing but the blood of Jesus.”
When marriages go sour and fall apart, we have sinned if we are honest with ourselves. So, as we seek reconciliation with our spouse, we first need to make ourselves right with God. The passage above from 1 John states that “if we confess our sins, God will forgive us.” As the NIV version (1 John 1:9b) states:
My message is simple: Get yourself right with God and He will walk with you and your spouse as you rebuild your marriage to be a relationship built upon the solid rock of Jesus Christ.
Standing firm on the marriage vows my wife and I exchanged at our wedding, until we are parted by death.
Ben in Texas