But who can endure the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appears? For he is like a refiner’s fire and like fullers’ soap. —Malachi 3:2
I recently became curious about what fullers’ soap was. What I discovered was that in Bible times there were people with the occupation of a fuller. A fuller’s job was to use a strong soap and beat or stamp on wool until the impurities had been removed, so that it would be pure white and ready for dying, if desired. The smell of the soap was so strong that the work was done in what was called a fullers’ field outside of the city. The soap fullers used was made of salts mixed with oil and one of two other ingredients: carbonate of soda (what we call baking soda) or borax (a mineral commonly used in insecticides today). This was no Dial soap on the shelf in your shower. This was a harsh cleanser and the process of cleansing was rough on the cloth. But the end result was pristine fabric.
All our impurities, our sins, are removed through the “soap” of Christ’s blood shed for us through the beating of Christ’s back with whips and the stamping of nails into his hands and feet on the cross. This was a harsh process. But the end result was a removal of our transgressions and the purity of our souls.
In Revelation 7:14 Jesus reveals of the people in heaven, “These are the ones coming out of the great tribulation. They have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.” That is us. We are cleansed and we are purified because of Christ, better than any soap can do. We are cleansed to the depths of our souls.