Spring cleaning can bring dread for some women, while others actually look forward to it! We all would agree that a clean, freshly organized home is something every woman loves, but the process of it is not so fun! Lloyd‘s grandmother actually was an amazing woman who really knew how to spring clean. Yes, she removed everything from every closet in order to clean and organize it. Of course, she then put everything back. She did this under the beds, through all the drawers, and through each and every room until every nook and cranny was sparkling clean!
This is such a picture of what Jesus desires to do in our hearts, which are often cluttered and dirty. It is not with dread that He “cleans” our hearts but rather with the greatest of love and the tenderest of mercies. The best picture of this cleaning is at Passover. Jewish women went throughout their homes with a feather and carefully removed all the dirt and leaven, which represents sin. This was so important because Passover was a time of fellowship. God would not sit at your table nor could He have fellowship with you if there was sin in your life! Second Corinthians 7:1 says, “Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” A little leaven leavens the whole lump.
Another representation of sin in the Bible is a disease called leprosy, and the comparison is quite telling. Leprosy is an inward disease. Jesus taught that it is the inner things that defile us (Matthew 15:18-20). Leprosy starts small and grows slowly but eventually works its way out. Sin, too, may start small and seemingly be hidden but when continued, grows and overtakes even the non-hidden parts of our lives.
Leprosy is a loathsome, painful disease that eventually leaves the infected person numb, which can make this disease deadly if one cannot feel the heat of fire or the cut of a knife. As we know, pain can be a very good thing, keeping us away from that which is harmful to us. Continuing in sin can eventually harden our hearts, ‘numbing’ us from the pain we are causing ourselves or those around us.
Leprosy is also a ‘separating’ disease. The leper must be put outside of the city; he is not able to attend services with the people of God. (Read Psalm 51, where David shows a beautiful, repentant heart and longs to once again enjoy the blessing of fellowship with his God.) Furthermore, leprosy has a terrible odor which cannot be hidden, repelling the people who come in proximity of the one who is infected. When we have sin in our hearts, we are separated from the fellowship of God and often either isolate ourselves or repel those who come close to us.
Leprosy is an incurable disease. Our sin is absolutely incurable apart from the finished work of the cross and the working of the Holy Spirit. Christ alone can cleanse our hearts: what can wash away my sin? Nothing but the blood of Jesus!
Let us be reminded, whether we our those who spring clean with dread or with anticipation, that as we clean our homes, Christ can cleanse us. As we pull things out of closets and clean the hidden things, let us invite Him into those hidden areas of our hearts and lives. Just as we gently clean our valuables, He deals gently with us as He reveals our sin, draws us to the cross, and once again restores our fellowship with Him.
"If Jesus came to your house to spend some time with you,
If He came unexpected, I wonder what you'd do.
Oh, I know you'd give your nicest room to such an honored guest
And all the food you'd give to Him would be the very best.
And you would keep assuring Him you're glad to have Him there—
That serving Him in your home is joy beyond compare.
But when you saw Him coming, would you meet Him at the door
With arms outstretched in welcome to your heavenly visitor?
Or would you have to change your clothes before you let Him in
Or hide some magazines and put the Bible where they'd been?
Would you hide your worldly music and put some hymn books out?
Could you let Jesus walk right in, or would you rush about?
And I wonder—if the Savior spent a day or two with you,
Would you go right on doing the things you always do?
Would you go right on saying the things you always say?
Or would life for you continue as it does from day to day?
Would you take Jesus with you everywhere you go?
Or would you maybe change your plans for just a day or so?
Would you be glad to have Him meet your closest friends?
Or would you hope they stay away, until His visit ends?
Would you be glad to have Him stay forever on and on?
Or would you sigh with great relief when He at last was gone?
It might be interesting to know, the things that you would do,
If Jesus came in person, to spend some time with you."
(Lois Blanchard Eades)
For further reading on this topic, I would suggest the little booklet, My Heart, Christ’s Home by Robert Boyd. Let us invite Jesus to spring clean our hearts! We will experience a fresh, new joy as we fellowship with Him. Those around us won’t smell the stench of sin, as with leprosy, but will be blessed to be around us as they smell a fresh, clean scent: the aroma of Christ.
We would see Jesus,