Have you ever wondered why the Scriptures say that God will forgive our sins as far as the east is from the west, instead of as far as the north is from the south? (Psalm 103:12, “as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.”)
I never have! Well, I hadn’t until a few weeks ago! A friend brought this to everyone’s attention in my Bible Fellowship class, and I have thought often about what she shared ever since. It is truly amazing what little “nuggets” the Lord places in His Word, and how He reveals Himself so personally to each of us (if you’ll let Him). I’m so glad she shared this with us!
There is an actual “north pole” and a “south pole,” so that as you travel, at some point you are ending in one direction, and beginning in another, only to eventually wind up right where you began.
But there is no such starting and ending point if you are traveling east or west! You simply continue in that direction, without such a point at which you distinctly are then, traveling in the opposite direction. There IS no east or west pole! Maybe THAT is why He uses “as far as the east is from the west” to describe how fogiven we are, and how far removed our sins are from us. We can’t see the beginning from the end! It’s simply, never ending – Just like His forgiveness availability!
I’ll bet that you, just like me, often have a difficult time “grasping” just how forgiving our God is when we confess our sins to Him. That’s likely because we are far, far, far less forgiving than He will ever be.
Isaiah 43:12 says, “I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more.”
When you forgive people, do you FORGET their transgressions against you? (I think that if we are all honest, we most often times are NOT quite that forgiving).
I don’t know what it is YOU currently believe about “confession” and about “forgiveness,” and I am not writing this to offer you my OPINION about either. But here are only a FEW things that God has told us through His Word about confession and forgiveness:
- “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9
- “For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.” 1 Timothy 2:5
- “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace.” Ephesians 1:7
- “For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” Matthew 6:14-15
When Jesus died, the veil inside of the temple was torn top to bottom. That signified that God was finished with that temple and its religious system. (See Luke 13:35). That “veil” was symbolic of Jesus as the ONLY way to the Father. In the Old Testament, the high priest had to enter the Holy of Holies THROUGH this veil. But now, Christ is our high priest, and since we believe in the finished work at the Cross, we can now enter the Holy of Holies through JESUS alone! The things inside of the temple were types and shadows of things to come, and all of those things pointed to Jesus. He was the veil to the Holy of Holies, and through His shed blood at the cross, believers now have free access to God, without having to go through man (a priest).
Because of the death of Jesus on the Cross, all barriers between God and man have now been removed, and we can boldly approach His throne. (This is INCREDIBLE news!)
And the next time you do approach His throne, I hope you remember – Your sins are removed as far as the east is from the west! (And a big THANK YOU, to my friend Sue, for sharing this “nugget!”)