Forgiving and Forgetting is Nice
In our last issue, we talked about the value of forgiveness. In the Old Testament, forgiveness was not an option, and they were command to remember their sin. Yearly God’s people, Israel were commanded to remember any sin they had committed. This was to occur until the “Messiah” came, who would fulfill the promise made to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, their forefathers. Through this Messiah, Christ, Jesus, “all nations of the earth will be blessed”, meaning salvation.(Genesis 12:1-7) To facilitate this salvation under the Old Law, the High Priest would annually offer a sacrifice for the sins of the people/nation. Before doing so, he had to offer sacrifice for his sin, and cleanse himself. He himself was unfit to offer the sacrifice until this was done. This Messiah had to be different and special. Thus Matthew 11:28-30 explains His ability to give assistance to those needy due to having sin in their lives.
Jesus, the Messiah was unique, for several reasons. He was perfect, without sin, and lived as a man. Yes, He was the Son of God/deity, but He was made “flesh and dwelt among men”, John 1:14. God prepared Him a body, to live and suffer as a man; to be tempted as a man. (2 Corinthians 5:21) And if He followed the will of God, His Father, and obeyed Him, He would be perfect, without blemish as a man. (1 John 3:5) As such, He would be the perfect sacrifice for fellow man. (1 Peter 1:19; Hebrews 9:14) Now please read Hebrews chapters 9 and 10. This unique man could accomplish what no other creature could accomplish, to be the sacrifice fit to offer forgiveness to mankind. The Father required life for life, blood for blood from the beginning. This is illustrated when a murder took place, as it required the death of the murderer.
Remember, Jeremiah 31:31-34 said that under the New Law, sins would not be remembered any more, forgiveness was possible. We now have the perfect sacrifice, and unlike the blood of animals which required remembering the sin, I can be forgiven through the blood of Christ and forget the guilt of my sin. (Acts 13:38; Ephesians 1:7) Romans 6 explains the process, how that in baptism, we in faith contact Christ’s death and blood, and are forgiven. We raise from the water of baptism freed from the sins of the past, and are committing to live without sin. The lifestyle of the past is dead, and we follow Christ’s life, following the Father’s will. Sin is now, not the norm of our life, but righteousness becomes our norm. No longer are we guilty warranting eternal death.
We will look at the process one goes through to get to this point next week.