From the East to the West

The Old Testament and the New Covenant   Part 22

“As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us” (Psalm 103:12).

“But as it is, Jesus has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself” (Hebrews 9:26).

Forgiveness of sin is at the heart of the gospel message of Jesus Christ.  Or to put it more personally, the forgiveness of your sin, the forgiveness of my sin, is at the heart of the gospel message.  Or to flesh it out even further, the COMPLETE forgiveness of our sin is at the heart of the gospel message.

“When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us ALL our transgressions, having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross” (Colossians 2:13-14).

“And the Holy Spirit also bears witness to us, saying, … ‘I will remember their sins and their lawless deeds no more’ “ (Hebrews 10:15,17).

When we first believe the gospel message of Jesus Christ, our sins – past, present, and future – are completely and eternally forgiven.  Folks often have a difficult time believing that our forgiveness is this complete.  Because it flies in the face of the common teaching that we need to confess and be forgiven over and over.  But this is just not true.  Repeated confession and forgiveness is not found in the message of the New Testament.  Your forgiveness is a once-and-done complete cleansing.

I absolutely love the visual in Psalm chapter 103 that previews the complete forgiveness coming in the new covenant.  If you start at the north pole and travel south as far as you can, you will eventually reach the south pole, the final destination of your southward journey.  How far of a distance must you travel?  Google says 12,436 miles.  It is a distance that can be measured.

But let’s start our journey at the equator in Quito Ecuador, and travel east.  How far must we go to reach the “west”?  Various places along the trip may be called “west”, but there is no distinct final destination indicating arriving at the “west”.  There is no “west pole” to be reached when traveling around the globe in an easterly direction.  There are no east or west endpoints on our journey along the equator.

You could say that the distance from the east to the west is infinite.  You see where I am going?  That is how far your sins have been removed.  To infinity and beyond.  So far gone, that your heavenly Father is not remembering them anymore.  And it wells up within us a gratitude for the incredible grace we have received.  Thank you Jesus!

Jesus is the author of your complete forgiveness foretold in Psalm 103, because Jesus was there from the beginning!

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