I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more. – Isaiah 43:25
There is a story about a man who was on his deathbed and had withheld forgiveness from a neighbor who had wronged him. His pastor persuaded him to see the man and forgive him. He finally agreed to this and the neighbor was led into his chamber where a formal reconciliation of the two took place. Then, as the neighbor was leaving, the dying man called out to him, “Remember, if I get better, this will all be off!”
We are relieved to learn that God is not like that dying man. He forgives and forgets our sin. He states with absolute certainty that his forgiveness is complete, that our sins are truly forgotten. He says “I am he who blots out your transgressions…and remembers your sins no more.”
God doesn’t say, “Remember, if circumstances change, this will be off!” The gift of his forgiveness is not surrounded by exceptions, conditions or exclusions. Jesus bore the punishment of all our sins by his suffering and death. When our Savior cried out on the cross, “It is finished!” he confirmed that the payment for every sin had been made. Jesus took away the sin of the world!
The first missionaries to Labrador found that the native people had no word for forgiveness in their language. The missionaries had to determine a way to express this precious gift of God. They made a glorious choice: “not-being-able-to-think-about-it-anymore.” God doesn’t recall our sin because Jesus paid the penalty for us. Through Jesus, we are free from guilt and free to live in peace and joy with God because he remembers our sins no more!
Prayer: Merciful God, fill me with the peace of forgiveness through Jesus Christ, your Son and my Savior. Amen.