“When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralyzed man,
‘Son, your sins are forgiven.’”
Mark 2:5 (NIV)
“Now some teachers of the law were sitting there, thinking to themselves, ‘Why does this fellow talk like that? He’s blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?’”
Mark 2:6-7 (NIV)
Scripture is full of teaching concerning what forgiveness is and how to obtain it. To forgive sin is to take it away (Job 7:21; Isaiah 53:6). The imagery here is of a burdened person having a strong friend come along and lift off the load that was crushing the poor person and remove it or carry it away.
When God forgives sin He is said to cover it (Psalm 85:2). This is an allusion to the mercy seat covering the ark in the Tabernacle. Under the lid or mercy seat were the tablets of stone on which God had written the 10 commandments. When sin is covered the mercy seat comes between the sinner and the condemnation of the 10 commandments. So the sinner is shielded.
In another passage God is said to bury our sins in the depths of the ocean (Micah 7:19). The ocean’s deepest spot is about 11 kilometres or 7 miles deep. That is incredibly deeper than any hole ever dug to bury something. Micah knew the ocean was deep but had no idea the ocean was that deep! Yet the Lord had him use the analogy and today we have a rich understanding of just how deep our sins have been buried.
Then the Bible refers to our sins being blotted out (Isaiah 43:25). In Isaiah’s time this term “blot out” referred to the creditor blotting out the debt of a person. So when God blots out our sins He removes them from His sight never to be seen again. Our debt is cancelled in total!
We draw much comfort from these and other descriptions in Scripture of how thoroughly God deals with our sins. Romans 8:1 assures us that there is no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus. There is absolutely no way that our sins can come back to haunt us, to condemn us again, to remove us from the presence and blessing of the Lord.
As the hymn writer so vividly put it:
“My sin, oh the bliss of this glorious thought,
my sin not in part but the whole
Is nailed to the cross and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, Praise the Lord Oh, my soul.”
God’s forgiveness is total, complete, thorough, eternal. Take great comfort Christian in how entirely your sins have been removed from you. Jesus is the complete Saviour.