The nature of holiness has always fascinated me. In the bible, particularly in the Old Testament, we see it as something scorchingly different, special, other. That which is holy is for God. Only the holy. In the New Testament we see holiness arrive with arms and legs. We see God made man, who, when touched by the “unclean” of the ancient purity codes, does something extraordinary. In the Old Testament, “holy” objects, things set aside for God, can easily get polluted. They become unholy, simply by contact with the ordinary. Let alone the “unclean”.
But Jesus, the Holy One of God, touches not just the ordinary but those seen as “unclean”. And the flows are reversed. When Jesus touches someone, he makes them clean. His holiness is catching. Suddenly, the whole thing has been turned upside down.
It’s important to the Christian to pursue holiness in their every day living, to seek to imitate Christ, to become more like him. But it’s also something we can ask for – for it is God’s Holy Spirit who aids us and transforms us. So we can pray ‘Lord, make me holy,’ and trust that he will work within our lives a transformation we could never manage on our own.
Which ties in nicely with the current Salt Challenge, Pray for Holiness.