“And yet, I am the God who forgives your sins, and I do this because of who I am. I will not hold your sins against you”.
Isa 43:25 GNB
It is a normal human trait to minimize the exceeding sinfulness of sin – on the part of those who commit the sins. We say things like “Well, everybody does it”, or “There’s such a huge amount of sin that one more small one won’t make any difference”, or “Nobody will know or see the difference”.
The Bible takes a different attitude. It is deeply conscious of the exceeding holiness of the Holy One, and that all offences are transgressions against the holiness of God. So he knows the difference. And he is deeply offended, hurt and broken-hearted by his people’s breaking of his commandments and by their disloyalty to him. So much so that he was weary of their repeated and unrepented sins. Yet the miracle of God is not in some startling feat of genius that he pulls off. The real miracle of God is the fact of his forgiveness in the face of the ingratitude and flagrant violation of his laws by his people. The God of holy love offers his people a clean sheet. His message is, “You have another chance. I am wiping it out. It is as though it had never been. Let’s make a better go of it this time”.
That is how Jesus treats our sin too. Somewhere along the road of discipleship it becomes more than just a “learning and doing” exercise. It has to become a facing and confession of sin, and an acceptance of the forgiveness freely given in grace. And a new start – fresh, clean and whole.
Lord, forgive my sins and give me a fresh start.