I will be merciful toward their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more.
When we feel estranged from God, others, and even ourselves, we can often trace this sense of angst to a guilty conscience. Despite the passage of time and despite all of our endeavors, somehow or another we find ourselves unable to relieve ourselves of this heavy burden, this deepening sense of unworthiness. The Bible teaches that we are created with an innate sense of right and wrong—that we are moral beings and that so we understand when we’ve violated God’s moral demands. We may sear our consciences, but we cannot erase them. The word of God, then, comes to our troubled consciences not to dishearten us but to direct us to the Savior who can cleanse us from our sin and guilt.
The Old Testament sacrificial system, while divinely prescribed by God, was meant only as a shadow and copy of the reality to come. Even with all the various ceremonies, washings, and external regulations, access to God was still restricted, cleansing was only partial and temporary, and pardon was limited. Those sacrifices could only do so much. They could not take away the real barrier between God and humanity: our sinful hearts, which need to be cleansed before we can enter the presence of a holy God.
Here, though, is the good news of the gospel! Since no amount of external work can save, forgive, or cleanse a guilty conscience completely, God’s promise to “be merciful toward [our] inequities and … remember [our] sins no more” through Jesus’ atoning death is an absolutely mind-blowing, life-altering reality. It wasn’t just the death of a man that paid for our sins; it was the death of the incarnate God. And so there is hope for the individual who is haunted by remorse, who is driven by failure, who longs for a cleansing from sin that is full and complete. As the hymn writer puts it:
Not all the blood of beasts
On Jewish altars slain
Could give the guilty conscience peace
Or wash away the stain.
But Christ, the heav’nly Lamb,
Takes all our sins away,
A sacrifice of nobler name
And richer blood than they.
When you are prepared to admit that you have unrelieved, unmitigated guilt for which all of your best endeavors can provide no satisfaction, true peace awaits. There is a way to have your sins forgiven—the sins of yesterday, the sins of today, and all the sins of tomorrow. Is there something you need to bring to the cross and confess and ask forgiveness for? Do so now, and know with joy that He remembers your sins no more.
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Devotional material is taken from the Truth For Life daily devotional by Alistair Begg, published by The Good Book Company, thegoodbook.com. Used by Truth For Life with permission. Copyright © 2021, The Good Book Company.