Then said he to me, The iniquity of the house of Israel and Judah is exceeding great, and the land is full of blood…
(with 1 John 1:7): — We can learn nothing of the Gospel except by feeling its truths, — no one truth of the Gospel is ever truly known and really learned until we have tested and tried and proved it, and its power has been exercised upon us. No man can know the greatness of sin till he has felt it, for there is no measuring rod for sin except its condemnation in our own conscience, when the law of God speaks to us with a terror that may be felt. And as for the richness of the blood of Christ and its ability to wash us, of that also we can know nothing till we have ourselves been washed, and have ourselves proved that the blood of Jesus Christ the Son of God hath cleansed us from all sin.
1. I shall begin, then, with the first doctrine — "The iniquity of the house of Israel and Judah is exceeding great." Some imagine that the Gospel was devised, in some way or other, to soften down the harshness of God towards sin. Ah! how mistaken the idea! There is no more harsh condemnation of sin anywhere than in the Gospel. Nor does the Gospel in any way whatever give man a hope that the claims of the law will be in any way loosened. Christ hath not put out the furnace; He rather seemeth to heat it seven times hotter. Before Christ came sin seemed unto me to be but little; but when He came sin became exceeding sinful, and all its dread heinousness started out before the light. But, says one, surely the Gospel does in some degree remove the greatness of our sin. Does it not soften the punishment of sin? Ah, no! Stand at the feet of Jesus when He tells you of the punishment of sin, and the effect of iniquity, and you may tremble there far more than you would have done if Moses had been the preacher, and if Sinai had been in the background to conclude the sermon. And now let us endeavour to deal with hearts and consciences a moment. There are some here who have never felt this truth. But come, let me reason with you for a moment. Your sin is great, although you think it small. Follow me in these few thoughts, and perhaps thou wilt better understand it. How great a thing is one sin when, according to the Word of God, one sin could suffice to damn the soul. One sin, remember, destroyed the whole human race. Again, what an imprudent and impertinent thing sin is. Behold! there is one God who filleth all in all, and He is the Infinite Creator. He makes me, and I am nothing more in His sight than an animated grain of dust; and I, that animated grain of dust, with a mere ephemeral existence, have the impertinence and imprudence to set up my will against His will! I dare to proclaim war against the Infinite Majesty of heaven. Again, how great does your sin and mine seem, if we will but think of the ingratitude which has marked it. Oh, if we set our secret sins in the light of His mercy, if our transgressions are set side by side with His favours, we must each of us say, our sins, indeed, are exceeding great! And again, I repeat it, this is a doctrine that no man can rightly know and receive until he has felt it. Hast thou ever felt this doctrine to be true — "my sin is exceeding great"?
2. "Well," cries one, turning on his heel, "there is very little comfort in that. It is enough to drive one to despair, if not to madness itself." Ah, friend! such is the very design of this text. We turn therefore from that terrible text to the second one" The blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin." There lies the blackness; here stands the Lord Jesus Christ. What will He do with it? Will He go and speak to it, and say, "This is no great evil, this blackness is but a little spot?" Oh, no; He looks at it, and He says, "This is terrible blackness, darkness that may be felt; this is an exceeding great evil." Will He cover it up, then? Will He weave a mantle of excuse, and then wrap it round about the iniquity? Ah, no; whatever covering there may have been He lifts it off, and He declares that when the Spirit of truth is come He will convince the world of sin, and lay the sinner's conscience bare, and probe the wound to the bottom. What then will He do? He will do a far better thing than make an excuse or than to pretend in any way to speak lightly of it. He will cleanse it all away, remove it entirely by the power and meritorious virtue of His own blood, which is able to save unto the uttermost. "The blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin." Dwell on the word "all" for a moment. Great as are thy sins, the blood of Christ is greater still. Thy sins are like great mountains, but the blood of Christ is like Noah's flood; twenty cubits upwards shall this blood prevail, and the top of the mountains of thy sin shall be covered. Just take the word "all" in another sense, not only as taking in all sorts of sin, but as comprehending the great aggregate mass of sin. Couldst thou bear to read thine own diary if thou hadst written there all thy acts? No; for though thou be the purest of mankind, thy thoughts, if they could have been recorded, would now, if thou couldst read them, make thee startle and wonder that thou art demon enough to have had such imaginations within thy soul. But put them all here, and all these sins the blood of Christ can wash away. Nay, more than that. Come hither, ye thousands who are gathered together to listen to the Word of God; what is the aggregate of your guilt? Could ye put it so that mortal observation could comprehend the whole within its ken, it were as a mountain with a base, broad as eternity, and a summit lofty almost as the throne of the great archangel. But, remember, the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth from all sin. Yet, once more, in the praise of this blood we must notice one further feature. There be some of you here who are saying, "Ah! that shall be my hope when I come to die, that in the last hour of my extremity the blood of Christ will take my sins away; it is now my comfort to think that the blood of Christ shall wash, and purge, and purify the transgressions of life." But, mark! my text saith not so; it does not say the blood of Christ shall cleanse — that were a truth — but it says something greater than that — it says, "The blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth" — cleanseth now. Come, soul, this moment come to Him that hung upon the Cross of Calvary! come now and be washed. But what meanest thou by coming? I mean this, come thou and put thy trust in Christ, and thou shalt be saved.
( C. H. Spurgeon.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Then said he unto me, The iniquity of the house of Israel and Judah is exceeding great, and the land is full of blood, and the city full of perverseness: for they say, The LORD hath forsaken the earth, and the LORD seeth not.
WEB: Then he said to me, The iniquity of the house of Israel and Judah is exceedingly great, and the land is full of blood, and the city full of perversion: for they say, Yahweh has forsaken the land, and Yahweh doesn't see.