“I, I am he who blots out your transgressions for my own sake, and I will not remember your sins.” —Isaiah 43:25
God has a people and He will redeem them. They are a people scattered all over the world—people from the east and west, sons and daughters from the end of the earth (Isaiah 43:5–6). God created this people for His glory and He will save them.
The Rescue to Come
This is how Isaiah 43 begins. There is God, His people, and a great rescue. The rescue in this section of Isaiah sounds a lot like the exodus from Egypt. The imagery from that dramatic event is interspersed throughout. “When you pass through waters, I will be with you” (Isaiah 43:2). “Thus says the Lord, who makes a way in the sea, a path in the mighty waters” (Isaiah 43:16). God split the sea to bring His people out of slavery in Egypt and He is going to do it again.
But this time the people find themselves captive in another foreign land, Babylon.
Israel’s exile in Babylon is the result of God’s judgment on their sin. They have been faithless. They have disregarded His covenant. They have forsaken His law. The big question is what’s next. I mean, they’ve already been rescued before. God has sent judges, established a kingdom, spoken through prophets, among countless other mercies. And how did they respond? “Yet you did not call upon me, O Jacob” (Isaiah 43:22). They haven’t changed. In response to all of God’s mercy, they are still obstinate, hard-hearted, still rebellious.
The rescue needed is more than a geographical swap. Their problem—our problem—is deeper than that. And if the rescue is going to last, we need to be saved from ourselves.
And so the Lord says, “I, I am he who blots out your transgressions for my own sake, and I will not remember your sins” (Isaiah 43:25).
This is the new and better rescue we are so desperate for (Isaiah 43:19) —God will remove our sins. He won’t remember them any more. They will really be gone. Really. This is a straight statement on what he will do. Sins are no more. But how?
What Jesus Did
As good as it is to hear what God will do, He doesn’t leave us to cling to the mere idea. Removed sin is glorious, though it sounds a little conceptual. But if we keep reading Isaiah we see more of the picture (Isaiah 53:5). If we keep reading in the Bible, we see the whole thing: the way God removes our sins is by a bleeding Savior hanging on a cross in our place. Our sins are removed because Jesus took them from us.
Every sin. Every twisted motive in our hearts, every breath of rebellion, every thought of pride, every wrong we’ve ever done to someone else, every time we were too selfish to serve, too dull to love, too hardened to worship. Every sin we know and the innumerable sins we’re too blind to see. Jesus took them all.
If we are united to Jesus by faith it means He took all our sins and suffered the punishment we deserved. He completely removed the sin from us. We are forgiven. Forgiven! The guilt is gone. “It’s nailed to the cross and we bear it no more! Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O our souls!”
So it is with God, His people, and a great rescue.
What is our main problem from which we need rescue?
How does God remove our sins?
What does it mean to be forgiven?