An Extraordinary Liberation (Isaiah 43:25)
I, I am he who blots out your transgressions for my own sake, and I will not remember your sins. —Isaiah 43:25
I am fully convinced that one of the reasons why we find it difficult to live in holiness is that we do not know deeply the implications of the gospel. The apostle Paul asks the Ephesians to consider the gospel so that they may live satisfactorily with their brothers in the faith: “But be kind to one another, merciful, forgiving one another, as God also forgave you in Christ” (Ephesians 4:32).
And our passage allows us to appreciate the precious gift of God: Who speaks is God himself (v. 1). What has He done? He has erased the transgressions of His people. If they were written in a sacred book waiting to be remembered on the day of judgment, they are no longer so. And there is something in the next sentence that seems strange to us: “I will not remember,” says Jehovah. It seems to me that we do not react properly to this statement. Does God forget? That is not the point.
I think the following story can help. When I was a ten year old boy I went to a store where I used to go with my parents. That day I stopped to look at some toys, and I was tempted to take one of them, and I did. I hid it and prepared to leave. I was stealing. But a supervisor had seen me and so he stopped me. He asked for the toy back and he rebuked me. He said he knew my parents, which caused me great shame. For more than five years I did not return to that store even though I had acknowledged my wrongdoing. When I did return, I went in with fear of facing that man again. That supervisor was no longer working there, what a relief! However, more than forty years later I still remember that incident.
The extraordinary thing is that with our God we do not have to fear. That is why He tells us “I do not remember.” Paul presents this idea clearly: “God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them” (2 Corinthians 5:19). It is an extremely liberating truth. It is what I wanted to feel in relation to that supervisor, but never could. God gives me the opportunity to consider myself free to look at His face and not hide, because He sees me as having never committed any action against Him.
And why does He do it? If He did it for me, doubts would always come to my heart: “but, I do not deserve it. I am going to disappoint Him.” The Bible reveals that God delights in saving and, with respect to the Son, affirms: “He will see the fruit of the affliction of His soul, and He will be satisfied” (Isaiah 53:11). It is at this point that we say: thank you, Lord, for your extraordinary liberation.
How much do you know about the gospel?
How is your life affected by what God did with your sin?
The consideration of this truth has horizontal implications (Ephesians 4:32). What are you doing about it?