4 Windows into God’s Forgiveness

4 Windows into God’s Forgiveness

Micah says God “cast all our sins into the depths of the sea.” The many shameful things we’ve done and covered up, the evil ruminations, all our caustic words—all these God will cast into the depths of the sea. To the Israelites, if something was thrown into the sea, it was lost and gone forever. The sea was the fearful place of the unknown, a vast and dangerous part of God’s creation. The sea was where you went if you never wanted to be found again.

The gospel knows no exaggerations. God doesn’t simply say, “I forgive your sins”—even though that would be saying enough, because his Word is true.

But in telling us about his mercy, God uses emphatic language, colourful comparisons, and gripping images to portray how in Christ He has fully pardoned our guilt. He is emphatic without ever stepping into overstatement.

Consider these four stunning windows into God’s forgiveness:

1) In Isaiah 38:17, Hezekiah offers this prayer to God, “You have delivered my life from the pit of destruction, for you have cast all my sins behind your back.”
Hezekiah had been sick and near death, but he repented and the Lord restored him. And it was as if the LORD had taken the king’s wickedness and thrown it over his divine shoulder, never to be seen again. Forgiven sin is in a place where it can no longer bring harm to our relationship with him: “You have cast all my sins behind your back.”

2) God declares to his people in Isaiah 43:25, “I am He who blots out your transgressions.”
Blotting out: like a scribe who hides a mistake on a scroll with a blotch of ink, or a student who uses correction fluid on his final exam. God has obliterated the sins of his people; in forgiving for Christ’s sake, God has covered, erased, deleted all our offenses, and He remembers them no more.

3) God says in Isaiah 44:22, “I have swept away your sins like a cloud. I have scattered your offenses like the morning mist.”
You’ve watched a white fluffy cloud traipse across the blue sky and seen its transience. Here one moment, and when we look up again, it has disappeared. Like that, God has swept away our sins, evaporated our offenses in the presence of his glorious majesty.

God’s forgiving love is shown to be an amazingly powerful love, robustly effective and radical. His forgiveness doesn’t leave any traces of what was there before.

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