A powerful wash
Every fortnight people from a farming background, or who have a heart for the countryside, offer a personal reflection on faith and rural life. They hope that you will be encouraged by it.
One of the most essential pieces of equipment on most farms today is a power washer.
It is useful for all sorts of cleaning jobs, and when I was farming, we had one which was kept in the milking parlour. It certainly made the job of keeping the units and equipment clean much easier.
On most livestock farms, when the animals go out after the winter, sheds are cleaned out and washed in preparation for repairs in time for the next season. When tractors, or machinery, come back to the yard after a dirty day’s work, they’ll get a good hose down so they’re clean for the next day. One of the jobs which I normally had to do after the harvest was to wash down the combine harvester. It didn’t seem to matter what waterproof clothes I wore, from the outside in, I was always drenched!
I still keep a power washer to wash the car and the yard round the manse but recently, as the saying goes, it ‘calved’ – the motor gave up. When I went to look for a new one in our local farm shop, I was amazed at how many different models there were. Having made my purchase, I hope this one will do the job for many years to come.
When we read the Bible we find that it speaks of a particular kind of washing, or cleansing. In 1 John 1:7 we read, “if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.” One of the hymns which we sing asks this question of us, “are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?” So what does it mean to be washed in, or cleansed by, the blood of the Lamb?
Well, it’s a reference to Jesus, who John the Baptist on seeing Him declared ‘“Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!”’ (John 1:29). John was also referencing the blood shed by sacrificial lambs in the Temple in Jerusalem, as an atonement for sin (Leviticus 17:11) which God required. When Jesus died on the cross all those years ago, the Bible records that He shed His blood as a sacrifice for our sins. So it is because of the shedding of His blood that Jesus is able to be the perfect sacrifice for sin.
When we repent and ask for forgiveness of our sin, and trust in the Lord Jesus for salvation, the Bible teaches that we have been washed in the blood of the Lamb. Our sins are completely cleansed and we are on the way to our eternal home in heaven. The blood of Jesus makes us spiritually clean, so we can come into the presence of God. More powerful than the strongest power washer and cleansing agent ever known, it is the only way that every last spot and stain of our sin can be washed away.
In today’s agricultural world of biosecurity, which is constantly on guard against disease, good cleaning and washing practises are essential. The right equipment and products for the job are vital to ensure success. For us, all we need to do to be cleansed, is to accept what God freely offers: to be washed in the blood of the Lamb, His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Rev David Reid is minister of Ardstraw and Douglas Presbyterian Churches in West Tyrone. He is married to Valerie and they have four children and two grandchildren. David was a full-time farmer for 18 years before being called to the Ministry.
If you would like to talk to someone about any of the issues raised in this article, please email Rev Kenny Hanna at [email protected] or call him on 028 9753 1234.