The Lord, speaking through the prophet Isaiah, tells us of another one of His generous attributes:
25 “I, even I, am he who blots out
your transgressions, for my own sake,
and remembers your sins no more. Isaiah 43:25 NIV
It is almost too good to be true that the all-powerful God of the universe tells us, I will remember your sin no more!
I first heard this verse twenty-five years ago, as quoted in the New Testament book of Hebrews (10:17), and it still amazes me. God not only forgives all of my sins, but He puts them out of His mind forever.
When we take our sin to the Lord in repentance, He truly forgives us. He blots them off of our record and then blots them out of His own mind as an act of His will. This is not just a temporary forgetting that will come back to haunt us later, but an eternal end to God remembering anything about them.
God tells us that He does this for His own sake. In doing this, He is both proclaiming His grace and making a way to fellowship with His creation throughout eternity. Our sin no longer excludes us from being in His Holy Presence – it simply no longer exists.
This expunging of our sinful record was made possible by the loving sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross. It is the centerpiece of God’s history – the salvation of women and men of faith, sealed for Him throughout eternity. All prescribed holy sin sacrifices before Jesus’ crucifixion looked forward to it, and all communion celebrations since have looked back.
When I stop to examine my own life, I am often confronted by memories of selfish thoughts, words, or actions that I have taken, or hurtful decisions made. When we take these to the Lord in prayer to seek His forgiveness, then make amends the best we can for any harm that we have done, we no longer need to feel shame or fear about facing God over them. One day, He will tell us about them, “I have no idea what you are talking about.” It is a promise He has made.
Are there memories of hurtful words or actions from your past that continue to haunt or torment you? God has promised to blot them out from our record for good. All He asks is that we come to Him in repentance, then try to extend to others who have harmed us the same quality of forgiveness that we are seeking from Him. Not easy, but so worth it!
Lord, it is remarkable that when we bring our sins and shortcomings to You, that You will blot them out and remember them no more. I bring them all to You now and call upon your eternal grace, mercy, and love. Help me to love and forgive my neighbor, in return. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.