Among the legends of the days of King Arthur, perhaps one of the most popular is the story of the Holy Grail. According to the story, the Grail was the cup Jesus used at the Last Supper with His disciples. It came into the possession of Joseph of Arimethea, who used the grail to catch some of the blood of Jesus as He died on the cross. Later, the grail was brought to England, supposedly to Glastonbury.
The tales of King Arthur, particularly the story of Percival, tell of the special powers of the Grail. Those cleansing and healing powers, however, were available only to those who were pure in heart. To even look on the Grail without being pure in heart would bring instant punishment.
Consider the twisted story here. The Grail was holy because it held the blood of Jesus. Only those who were pure in heart could receive the blessing of the Holy Grail. In other words, in order to be made pure you had to be pure in the first place.
Many people hold to this kind of thinking. They don’t feel comfortable in the presence of Jesus because of something they have done, some sin that is in their past. They struggle with the idea that they can come to Jesus as long as that sin has happened.
How sad! The whole point of the shed blood of Jesus is the fact that we are unclean sinners in need of a Savior. If we must be cleansed before we can come to the Lord, we are in big trouble. We know that we cannot cleanse ourselves, that He is the only hope for us. How, then, could we ever be saved if we have to be pure before we come to Him?
This week I want to talk about what I will call “cleansing grace”. It is the idea given in Scripture that our sins are washed away by the sacrifice of Jesus and we are now cleansed and pure in Him.
Once again, so much of our understanding of the work of God in our lives centers around the time of our salvation. However, for most of us there is a lot of earthly life to be lived after the moment of our salvation. If all there is to God’s grace is what He did for us in that one action, then what do we do about the rest of our lives?
Of course, God’s grace is for our whole lives. There is no point in our lives in which we are not completely dependent on His grace in order to be successful or to please Him.