25. COMPLETE FORGIVENESS
"How precious also are Your thoughts unto me, O God!"
For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more. Hebrews 8:12
No thought can be morel precious than this—God's thought of mercy to the unrighteous and undeserving. The consciousness of past sin lies like a cold avalanche on many a heart. "How can man be just with God?" "If you, Lord, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand?" "What then shall I do when God rises up? and when he confronts me, what shall I answer him?" These are the solemn questions which, despite of all efforts to silence or evade them, are ever and anon confronting the most indifferent and unconcerned. Blessed be God, He has not left them unanswered. He can bestow pardon on the unrighteous, and bury the remembrance of sin in the depths of oblivion.
"There is forgiveness with You, that You may be feared." "With the Lord there is mercy, and with Him is plenteous redemption." By a precious, peerless thought of infinite love, He has "devised ways so that a banished person may not remain estranged from Him." He "spared not his own Son, but delivered Him up for us all." The true anti-typical scape-goat has borne away the burden of imputed sin into a land of forgetfulness—so that on that Great day "when God rises up," "the iniquity of Judah shall be sought for, and shall not be found."
May I be enabled joyfully to accept this glorious method of salvation, by which, in strict accordance with every attribute of the Divine nature, and every requirement of the Divine law, forgiveness may be dispensed to the chief of sinners. Nothing I could do, or that others could do for me, would prove in any way availing to purchase that salvation. Lebanon itself, with all its cedars piled up for altar and for fuel, and all its flocks for the sacrifice and burned-offering, would have been an insufficient propitiation.
But this 'precious thought' comes winged with love from the Cross of Calvary—"God is in Christ reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing unto men their trespasses." He is as able as He is willing, and as willing as He is able, to save "unto the uttermost." Is it crimson and scarlet sins—some deep, dark, foul blots on the tablet of memory—their terrible remembrance haunting me like specters from the abyss?—God says, 'I will make even these like the spotless snow and the stainless wool.' What is that great mountain of transgression before the true Zerubbabel, the storms of judgment brooding over it? It has become a plain—the work of Jesus has leveled it.
What is that great cloud, the aggregate of bypast sin, charged with condemnation, spreading itself overhead? Lo! it has melted away—"I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, your transgressions; and, as a cloud, your sins." The Sun of righteousness has shone upon it. His rays, like burning arrows, have dispersed the elements of wrath. There is nothing now seen but the bright azure of a radiant heaven; and a voice is heard, amid the glorious sunshine, uttering the words, "Return unto Me, for I have redeemed you!"
Who is a God like You, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of His inheritance? You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy. Micah 7:18