“For this is like the waters of Noah to Me; For as I have sworn that the waters of Noah would no longer cover the earth, so have I sworn that I would not be angry with you, nor rebuke you. For the mountains shall depart and the hills be removed, but My kindness shall not depart from you, nor shall My covenant of peace be removed,” says the Lord, who has mercy on you – Isaiah 54:9 – 10
In the time of Noah, God used mighty flood waters to wipe away the sin of this world. Unfortunately, the only way sin could be wiped away at that time (since we did not yet have a redeemer) was to wipe away man. Why? It is because the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23). Hence without a redeemer, the only way for God to get rid of sin was to get rid of man; it was justice being done!
After the flood when God promised never to flood the whole earth again, He was really saying that He would never again use natural waters (death) to cleanse the world; He was saying that we would never again have to pay the price of death for our sins. Though we gave ourselves over to the nothingness of sin, He was never again going to require the wages (payment) of our sins from our hands.
For thus says the LORD, “You were sold for nothing and you will be redeemed without money
– Isaiah 52:3
Light-bulb moment: Instead of using natural waters to purge the world of sin as in the days of Noah, God decided to use supernatural waters.
God proclaimed this when He said that He shall sprinkle clean water on us and so we shall be clean (Ezekiel 36:25). Jesus explains this further when He said to the disciples that they were clean because of the words that He spoke to them (John 15:3).
So we see that it is the supernatural water of the life-giving word of God that cleanses us from our sins.
Light-bulb moment: It is the water of the word that enables us to receive the Holy Spirit or to be born of the Holy Spirit – who can only inhabit a clean and in-corrupt vessel for He is holy.
This is why Jesus told Nicodemus that man must be born of water and the Holy Spirit (John 3:5). Simply put, Jesus is saying that we must first be cleansed of our sins and then receive the Holy Spirit who seals us (Ephesians 1:13 – 14) onto salvation. Jesus was simply describing what truly happens when we believe and confess: (1) our sins get eradicated and (2) we receive the Holy Spirit.
How is it that the word washes us? Here is how: The words that God speaks to us produce faith – for faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word (Romans 10:17). It is this faith (trust and believe) that Jesus is Lord and that Christ raised Him from death that produces salvation (Romans 10:9-10) by giving us access to grace (Ephesians 2:8-9). Hence, it is faith (which comes from words) that helps us tap into the forgiveness of sins – which was accomplished over two millennia ago.
How wonderful it is that God considers the sacrifice of Jesus for us (our transgressions and iniquity) as the waters of Noah! It is a one and done deal that required nothing from us! Instead of being angry with us or rebuking us (see Isaiah 54:9-10), God poured out the cup of His wrath on Jesus (Himself). What a loving Father! What a loving Son to accept His fate!