Scripture Reading: “Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean…” (Psalm 51:7)
David knew that it would take the strongest of cleansers to purge him of his sins. Thus, he pleaded for God to “purge [him] with hyssop.”
Hyssop was used to apply the blood of the Passover lambs to the doorposts of the Hebrews’ homes in Egypt (Exodus 12:22). As a result, the judgment of God on Egypt passed over the homes of the Hebrews. David understood how he, like the enslaved Jews in Egypt, needed God’s judgement on sin to passover him.
Hyssop was also used in the cleansing of lepers (Leviticus 14:1-7). Like a leper, David was incurably corrupt and the victim of a fatal infirmity. Nothing apart from God’s miraculous intervention could cleanse him from his sinful corruption and spare him from sin’s inevitable consequence; namely, death (Romans 6:23).
It is no coincidence that hyssop was used to put the sponge of sour wine to Christ’s mouth before He cried from the cross, “It is finished” (John 19:28-30). As the Bible clearly teaches, there is no cleansing of sin apart from the shedding of blood (Hebrews 9:22). It is the blood that Christ shed on the cross alone that can purge the sinner from his sin and cleanse him from sin’s corruption.
“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.” (Robert Lowry)