13 December 2011
"I have swept away your offenses like a cloud, your sins like the morning mist. Return to me, for I have redeemed you."
If I sit back and contemplate the fullness of what He did for me; if I consider the vast pool of sin in which I was drowning; if I think on the magnitude of the consequence of my [wrong] choices in this life regarding sin, I can easily become overwhelmed bu my utter filth or His great mercy.
I have swept away your offenses like a cloud...
Before my wife and I were dating, when we were 'just friends' [she had it all planned and I was oblivious, but that's another story], we used to lie back on the grass with some of the children she cared for and watch the sky.
It was her way of getting the children settled down [and staying close to me]. We would watch; point out things we saw. One of my favorite parts was watching the clouds appear from nowhere. I actually had a little sadness when they then disappeared into nowhere. But it never seemed to be a violent event. Easily they came and easily they were swept away.
Being owners of our own business, we have had more than ample opportunity to awake and set out before dawn. Our drive from Pennsylvania to New Jersey would take us through a simple mountain pass. During certain months, this area is frequently in a fog - a morning mist. Depending upon the time of day or the time of year, you may find yourself driving through the clouds, over the clouds, or under the clouds. Frequently, you would see the evidence of a past morning mist that had been burned off by the rising sun. Again, not really a violent event, just a there one moment - gone the next kind of thing.
This is how God describes the removal of our sin. We know that the crucifixion was indeed a violent event and that was the payment. But God describes the removal of our offenses as a there one moment - gone the next kind of thing.
And then, the clincher:
Return to me, for I have redeemed you.
In many Christian churches, the redemption is taught as a reason to return. Come to Christ so that he can redeem you. That's unscriptural. We can return to Him because [He has already] redeemed us.