6 But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.
-Humanity’s story is always one of struggle; we strive in war to prove our dominance one over another, we strive in life and business in order to climb the ladder of success. There are some areas where hard work and commitment pay off, but what do we do when we face a challenge that cannot be overcome by human effort? Such is the case with our sin debt; sin has put us all under condemnation and no matter how hard we try, we cannot make things better. In fact, if you’ve ever tried to clean something with a filthy rag, you know that it only makes things worse. That’s what the Lord thinks of our righteousness and good works outside of Him; we are already black with sin, and every time we try to clean up with our own righteousness, we just make it dirtier. The answer to our eternal destiny lies not in human merit, but in God’s mercy. “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:” (1 Peter 1:18-19) To redeem a world full of dirty sinners required an atonement that was perfectly free of spot or blemish, an atonement like the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” (Isaiah 1:18)