At church the other Sunday, one of our deacons tapped me on the shoulder, pulling me from the service, just as we were ready to share our "Joys and Concerns" prior to the pastoral prayer. She whispered in my ear, "Someone needs you in the other room. Please come." Following the deacon, I found a weeping woman who raised her red-rimmed eyes to me. She said, "I've done terrible things. Can God ever forgive me?"
How often those words have expressed the regret of someone who made poor choices in their youth! The answer to those words of remorse is found in the writing of Paul:
Romans 5:8 – But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (NIV)
The word that weeping woman heard was, "God loves you so much that He came in Jesus Christ just for you. When Jesus walked into your life, He washed away all traces of the sins that plague your conscience! Through what Jesus did, your sins no longer exist."
Christ literally wiped away our sins as if they had never been. Like a wet eraser on a chalkboard, our slate is wiped clean by Christ's blood. Because Jesus died to pay the penalty for my sins and yours, the righteousness of Christ replaces our unworthiness.
I like to personalize what Paul wrote about Christ and the church in Ephesians 5:25b-27 using the NIV translation: "Christ loved you and me and gave himself up for us to make us holy, cleansing us by the washing with water through the Word, to present us to Himself as radiant believers, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless."
Therefore, we can rest assured:
Romans 5:10 – For if, when we were God's enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! (NIV)
Now that is something worth shouting about!
Prayer: Loving heavenly Father, we are awed that You would do such a wonderful thing for us! Thank You for washing away our sins as if they never were. Thank You so very much, Lord Jesus, for doing what You did, just for us! We can never repay our debt of gratitude. Accept our meagre tribute of praise and thanksgiving. We pray in the name of Christ Jesus. Amen.
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