Then he adds: “Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more.” Hebrews 10, verse 17.
Jesus is talking about wiping the slate clean. That’s a concept we, in our so-called modern world, desperately want.
I’ve been depressed lately. Really, truly, deeply depressed. It’s likely a delayed reaction to too many big things happening in my life too quickly. Job loss, new job; anger over losing the old job, frustration with learning the new one; 2 new grandkids in four months; 2 kids living at home in the same six month period; financial woes; running into the city almost every weekend; missing my old travel job and the control I thought I had over my life; an ever-growing list of chores here on the farm Guilt over past sins that just doesn’t seem to go away; feeling inadequate in everything I do, that no matter what I do it’s never enough or never good enough for my wife or my family or my team. Feeling overwhelmed even by small things.
That’s all been me over the last few months, actually more like the last year since I went on the bench in my previous job. I feel so frustrated over so many things, and I feel powerless to actually do anything substantial to change them. Yes, it’s a lie because God gives us the power to make changes where we are now. He is always with me; He is always actively involved even when it seems like Satan’s attacks are making progress in bringing me down. I know all that is true: I simply still feel so down over all of it and more.
Some of what bothers me isn’t my fault; I’m innocent of much, maybe even most of it. Yet if I’m going to be truly honest, all of the things that plague me stem from some kind of sin, either mine or someone else’s. All dysfunction and strife in the world stems from some kind of sin, either now or in the distant past, even sins that aren’t our own. The Bible says that all creation is frustrated by man’s sin. Taking that thought to its logical end, when Adam and Eve first fell, their sin set into motion violence, disease, weather patterns, disasters, and other ‘natural’ phenomena that affect us today. If you think that’s possible, then perhaps it’s possible for the sins of 7 billion souls alive now affect this planet still.
I know, wacky stuff. It’s kind of a stretch; it’s kind of crazy to think about it…even if it’s true. The goodness of God with us in Eden kept sin away, but man’s embrace of sin unleashed these terrors into a place never intended to know them.
Here’s some good news, then. Jesus will remember our sins no more. When Jesus moved His Spirit into my heart, He ended the residency of sin. He drove it out and away. He wiped the slate clean and in His mind’s eye, they don’t even exist anymore. He did that in me here and now. Later, when Jesus returns to renew this corrupted planet, He will remember our sins and lawless acts no more. He will remake nature; He will wipe out crime; He will change everything we know about living in this place. And in doing so, He will make it so that the things that plague us will never plague us again. It will be as if they had never happened.
When I get down, I cling to remembering this. Sure, I do the things to try to beat back the darkness. I make realistic lists of things to do and work to get them done, then pat myself on the back for doing so. I remind myself that I’m doing my best. I remember that the past no longer exists, and the future hasn’t yet happened. But most of all, I remember that Christ is in my heart and hurts when I hurt. That He hurt more than I could know for pains like I feel these days. That He died to make my hurt a thing of the past, and that His death means my sins and lawless acts are remembered no more.
For further reading: Hebrews 3:7, Jeremiah 31:33-34, Hebrews 8:10.
My Lord, abide with me when I get depressed. Help me through the dark days, and comfort me with knowing You don’t hold my sins and acts against me.