Imagine, you've just awakened and you feel that yucky, pasty film in your mouth. Morning breath! Everybody gets it. Everybody hates it. You can't even think of kissing your spouse good morning until you make a beeline for the bathrrom to brush your teeth.
Why? Because brushing your teeth will clean your mouth and freshen your breath. Right? Well, your breath might smell fresher, and your teeth might appear cleaner, but are they really?
Take a look at the image below. It is a single "used" bristle from a toothbrush. THIS is what you are using to "clean" your teeth.
Yuck! Turns out we are using dirty, germy utensils to clean our dirty, germy teeth.
Well, it might not be a perfect method, but when it comes to teeth, it's the best system we have to work with.
Ok, so our teeth won't be perfectly clean. They'll at least appear to be clean.
But when it comes to our sin, the appearance of clean just won't cut it.
Our sin needs an utter scrubbing, a complete bleaching, a total cleansing. This can't be accomplished by our own efforts! We, ourselves, are soiled and unclean. You can't scrub filth with filth. You can't cleanse away sin with a dirty rag. Oh, we might do a good job of appearing to be clean (holy). But it's just a facade.
Nothing short of the perfect cleansing of sin by the blood of our Perfect Savior can genuinely wash away our sin and shame. In the words of the old, classic hymn:
What can wash away my sin? Nothing but the blood of Jesus!
What can make me whole again? Nothing but the blood of Jesus!
Oh precious is the flow that makes me white as snow.
No other fount I know. Nothing but the blood of Jesus!
Stop trying to whitewash your sin with your own good efforts. That sparkling white smile won't fool the Savior.
"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (1 John 1:9, ESV).
"He saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit" (Titus 3:5, ESV).
"Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me" (Psalm 51:10, ESV).