Article by Andrew B. Lyons
We falter, we fail, and sin hinders the fellowship between us and God. Much like Peter, we come up short, we deny Christ; “I know not the man”. Then the realization of our actions hit us and we “run out and weep bitterly”. Then like Peter we cry out, “depart from me for I am a sinful man.”, or the prodigal son “I am no more worthy to be called thy son.”, or the Publican at prayer “Lord, be merciful to me a sinner!”, or Paul who asks “Who shall deliver us?”
Our soul longs for the day of the coming of Christ when we shall lay aside this mortal, fallible robe of flesh; exchanging it for a glorious, sinless one. “We shall be like Him” is our longing and heart’s cry in this existence. While here, days of failure and days of longing. Our failure and flesh tricks our faith at times to ask “Does Christ even love us?” Then we are reminded of the leper. The oozing sores. An outcast. And at last “no man cares for his soul”. He is reduced to an existence of crying out “unclean!” wherever he trod.
But wait, what is this? Jesus touches him. Yes, a gentle touch. A loving touch. A touch of acceptance. One of love and compassion. For this man, Jesus, “receiveth and eateth with sinners.” Then the healing power from His very words simply wipes away all leprosy. The man is now clean. And, too, the healing power of Christ can forgive and cleanse thoroughly our own leprosy of the heart. For Christ says “I will give them a new heart.”
We may fail, stumble, sin; but He touches us. Praise God, He loves us. I know that I can arise up afresh and anew in His forgiveness and cleansing power. He asks “lovesth thou me?” and we answer “yea, Lord, thou knowest that I love you.”