Each of these songs reference the gift that was given to us at the Cross through the entirely selfless act of Jesus voluntarily taking on the sins of the entire world... Past, Present, Future – EVERYONE...mine, yours, the bully from 6th grade, the neighbor that purposely antagonizes you, the murder on death row, etc. He didn’t come to die for just specific people, He willingly gave up His life for all of us.
These two songs speak to me so much because I know what I’ve done and who I’ve been in the past. Who I’ve loved, lusted after, stolen from, talked about, hated and on and on. God says in the Bible that if you look at someone with lust in your heart, you have committed adultery with them. If you have hated someone, it is the same as having murdered them. As the man thinketh in his heart, so he is. (Prov 23:7) That is why it is so important to guard your thoughts and your heart and especially your mouth. (separate post coming on that one).
And there are days when I feel like I’m taking 3 steps back and zero steps forward and immediately I regret, I feel bad...I feel guilty. But you know what? Guilt and regret are NOT from God. God in His infinite Mercy and Grace doesn’t just forgive...He forgets. He erases the board. He deletes the file. He destroys the evidence. He doesn’t remember our mistakes. For all the things he does do, this is one thing he refuses to do. He refuses to keep a list of our wrongs. He just plain doesn’t remember.
But we do. You still remember what you did before you changed. Sins you’ve confessed; errors of which you’ve repented; damage you’ve done your best to repair. And though you’re no longer the same person, the ghosts still linger. They get in your face, whisper in your mind and rob you of your joy and remind you of moments when you forgot Whose child you were. They tickle your mind and say things like, “Are you really forgiven? Sure, God forgets most of our mistakes, but do you think He could actually forget the time you... (insert any instance that brings guilt/regret to your mind)” As a result, your spiritual walk has a slight limp. And when you begin to make headway in your spiritual walk, that specter of the past appears and causes you to start doubting yourself.
Be honest now, do you think God is the voice that reminds you of the dirt of your past? Do you think He was joking when He said, “I will remember your sins no more?” Was he exaggerating when He said He would cast our sins as far as the East is from the West? Do you actually believe He would make a statement like “I will not hold their iniquities against them” and then throw them in our faces whenever we ask for help?
Of course not! To love conditionally is against God’s nature. It’s against God’s nature to remember FORGIVEN sins. God is either the God of perfect grace... or he is not God. Grace forgets. He who is perfect love cannot hold grudges. If he does, then he isn’t perfect love. And if he isn’t perfect love, we are chasing rainbows. But I believe in his loving forgetfulness. And I believe he has a graciously terrible memory.
But with that grace, we need to show thankfulness for it. Grace does not mean we have a license to commit the same sin over and over. God has forgiven us. Given us His grace. We need to act like that means something. Because it does. It means that the innocent death of Jesus on the Cross paid the price for our sins.
God has promised us that if we ask forgiveness from our sins with a truly repentant heart He throws them as far as the East is from the West and remembers them no more. Period. End of sentence. Look it up. Psalms 103:12, Isaiah 43:25, Hebrews 8:12. How does He do this without having to have a high priest to intercede on our behalf, as it was in the Old Testament times?
Through the crucifixion, death and resurrection of Jesus who is the ONLY High Priest and intercessor that we require to come to the Throne Room of God.
There is another new song that I heard today that is called “Hello, My Name Is...” by Matthew West and it is what all of us who are in Christ should say when faced with fear, defeat, regret, guilt, etc. over our sins.
“Hello, my name is child of the one true King
I’ve been saved, I’ve been changed, and I have been set free
“Amazing Grace” is the song I sing
Hello, my name is child of the one true King
I am no longer defined
By all the wreckage behind
The One who makes all things new Has proven it’s true”
So coming up on this Easter season, those of us who have found ourselves in Christ, who call Jesus our Savior, we can say “Hello, my name is child of the one true King. I’ve been saved, I’ve been changed, and I have been set free. I am, thank God, REDEEMED by the One who has thrown my sins as far as the East is from the West...through the span of one scarred hand to the other.”