Mark 1:40-42, “And there came a leper to him, beseeching him, and kneeling down to him, and saying unto him, If thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. And Jesus, moved with compassion, put forth his hand, and touched him, and said unto him, I will: be thou clean. And as soon as he had spoken, immediately the leprosy departed from him, and he was cleansed”
Leprosy disfigures the body and its definition is a slowly progressing bacterial infection that affects the skin, peripheral nerves in the hands and feet, and mucous membranes of the nose, throat, and eyes. Destruction of the nerve endings causes the affected areas to lose sensation. Occasionally, because of the loss of feeling, the fingers and toes become mutilated and fall off, causing the deformities that are typically associated with the disease. Sin disfigures body and soul. Leprosy separates people from people. Sin separates people from people and from God. Leprosy creates outcasts for life. Sin casts people into outer darkness for eternity. Which is worst; leprosy or sin? Of which would you rather be cured?
The story has been told of missionary Harold Schock, that while taking a morning walk saw a pitiful woman in a park in Rangoon, Burma. Her tightly drawn hands, swollen feet, nodule-like toes, and disfigured face told him she was a leper. After learning of her 30 years of loneliness and isolation, Dr. Schock told her that a very good friend of his really loves her. “His name is Jesus,” he said. “Who?” she asked. “Jesus, God’s Son, who came to earth to die for your sin.” Dr. Schock then shared the gospel with this lonely leper woman. “Do you want Him to be your friend?” he asked, “Oh, yes, I do!” she said. There on a park bench in Rangoon, a Burmese Buddhist invited Jesus Christ into her heart. When she opened her eyes, a warm smile tried to soften her contorted face. It was painful, but the smile sprang from deep within her soul. She left, still a pitiable sight, but a “cleansed” leper. My friend the leprosy of sin is universal. Everyone has it. The ultimate question would be; have you come to Jesus Christ for His cleansing cure?
If you’re reading this and are enslaved to sinful practices or destructive habits, you can be delivered. Confess your sin and helplessness to God. Accept His offer of complete forgiveness through Jesus Christ, who died in your place. Rely on the Holy Spirit, who can enable you to resist temptation (1 Corinthians 6:19; 10:13). My friend, God can transform your heart and enable you to change, making possible what seems impossible. If you confess your sins, the Lord promises to do forgive them all (1 John 1:9); cast them into the sea (Micah 7:19); take them away (Isaiah 6:7); cover them up (Psalm 32:1); blot them out (Acts 3:19); put them away (Hebrews 9:26), and, remember them no more (Hebrews 8:12)
What every person needs (whether they want to admit it or not) is the forgiveness of sin and eternal life that only Jesus made possible for us upon the cross of Calvary. You can experience Christ’s forgiveness only when you are willing to open your heart to godly sorrow, repent of sin, and receive Him as your Savior. It is then that God graciously gives you a personal understanding of His love and forgiveness that puts past events in a new perspective. Even though you may have committed the worst sins, Jesus offers you a new start. Today, receive Him by faith as your Savior, as the Burmese leper did!
Jesus Christ died on the cross for all your sins – not just some of them.