Jeremiah 30-31; Ezekiel 26
God is talking about making a new covenant with Israel. He tells them in the past they were punished for the sins of their parents and grandparents. “The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge”. One day, God says, if you eat sour grapes you will be the one who puckers up. Everyone will die for their own sin.
In the Old Testament, prophets were continually reminding generation after generation the many sins committed in the past. So it must have come as quite a shock when Jeremiah said God, in his new covenant, would forgive their wickedness and remember their sins no more.
We who live after the cross have a clearer picture of this new covenant. Jesus taught us about sin and repentance, responsibility and choice. And when he tells us he throws our sins into the deepest sea or removes them as far as the east is from the west, when he says he’ll remember them no more – he means it.
I know there are many who believe, because Scripture tells us we will be held accountable for our thoughts and actions on judgment day, there will be a big screen TV playing blue-ray videos of our lives for everyone to see. I know in my heart that won’t happen to me.
You know why? God tells me when I repent of sin he marks the account paid by the Blood of the Lamb. He tosses that sin into the sea and will remember it NO MORE.
So here’s what I see happening. I stand before the throne and look my Holy God in the eye. He says – give me an account of your life, Connie. And before I can utter a word, Jesus steps up beside me and says, “Account paid, Dad.”
Me, standing there remembering my sins, the times I failed God, dishonored him, threw his Word right in his face. Me, remembering the times I could have and should have done more to further his kingdom. God, opening his arms for me and welcoming me home dressed in Jesus’ righteousness.
So does that mean I can live my life any way I want and I’ll get a free pass? Not at all. Every sin I commit comes with a price tag. Every one. If I want Jesus to stand up for me in that day I need to be sure I’m wearing his righteousness. I need to repent, be holy and set apart, I need to be obedient to God’s Word. I need to recognize sin and accept the forgiveness that is mine when I ask him to forgive me.
I’m so thankful God forgives and forgets. But I don’t want to forget. While I’m on this earth I want to remember my failures so I don’t repeat them. I want to remind myself the lengths to which Jesus had to go to wash me clean. I want to live my life out of gratitude, humbly aware that I am a sinner saved by grace.
Holy God, I know there will be an eternity free from the memories of the sins I’ve committed, compliments of a crucified Jesus. But until that day, Lord let me remember. Let me use those memories to make me want to serve you better, love you more, and run from the temptations that lure me into sin. And thank you, God, for your selective memory. I love you.