He [God] adds: I will never again remember their sins and their lawless acts. Now where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer an offering for sin. Hebrews 10:17-18
One of my most unbecoming moments is when I attempt to put others in their place. I’m aware as I write this that ‘their place’ is never an elevated position. The very term denotes a lowering of their esteem. I am reminding them that they did something wrong and need to remember how awful it was! How long will I make them pay?
How long did God make me pay before He forgave me? Even now, does he keep bringing up my past sins to make me remember how sinful I’ve been? While people do this, God does not. (However, Satan whispers lies to my guilty conscience and wants me to believe that I am being holy when I grovel.)
When God says that He never again remembers our sins, it doesn’t mean that he literally forgets. It’s better than that. He takes the sins that separated me from Him and puts them behind His back, out of sight. He will never bring them out again, hold them up to my face and say, “Remember what you did!?” He does not encourage me to remember them to discourage me and to destroy my joy.
When Jesus said, “It is finished”, it carried so many beautiful implications. The obvious one is that no more sacrifices were needed to forgive sin. His death, and final sacrifice, did that. That also means that once I repent of something, His sacrifice removed it. No more sacrifices and no more repenting are needed. While I may not forget what I’ve done, remembering it should usher in the relief and joy of sins forgiven. It should not re-introduce guilt and cause me to pick up a heavy burden.
What’s astounding to me is that many Jews, after Jesus’ death, decided they’d rather return to the offering of sacrifices. They had a hard time resting in the fact that Jesus death ended the need for them. Their history and culture was so ingrained in them that it was hard to trust in the security of the cross.
Jesus would want me to know several key things today. 1. While people may equate me with my sin, He does not. 2. He took my sin off of me and put it on Himself instead. 3. He not only put it on Himself, He forgave it and sent it away ~ out of sight. 4. It is not admirable to rehearse my past sins and self-condemn. 5. It is advisable to rehearse the totality of His forgiveness and throw a party!
If you are straining to hear the sound of joyful singing, I’ll start now. Amen