We believe in… the forgiveness of sins…
As far as the east is from the west,
so far has He removed our transgressions from us.
God has promised that if we confess our sins, “He will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (I John 1:9). But do we realise how completely those sins have been dealt with? They are not merely forgiven; they are removed out of His sight for ever.
The ritual of the scapegoat on the Day of Atonement was symbolic of this truth. After the required sacrifices had been offered, this goat, symbolically bearing all the sins of the nation, was taken far away from the camp and released into the wilderness – never to return (Leviticus16:20-22). Thus all Israel’s sins and uncleanness were taken away, and their relationship with God was restored. It was a visual demonstration of what Jesus’ death would potentially achieve for the sins of the whole world.
We may believe this to be true; but how many of us ‘cling on’ to memories of our past sins, even after we have confessed them and turned away from them, so that we continue to feel guilty for what we have done? God draws a line under our past; but we can find it much harder to do so. Unlike Him, we may not be able to forget – but we nevertheless have to learn to ‘let go’. That goat must not be held back, but allowed to disappear over the horizon…