One day, when Jesus was visiting Simon, the Pharisee, having a meal at his house … a lady came in. She kept sobbing, kissing Jesus’ feet and washing them with her tears and perfume. Simon tried to tell Jesus what a sinful woman that was at His feet. But Jesus cut him off, and told him this story: “Two men were in debt to a banker. One owed five hundred silver pieces, the other fifty. Neither of them could pay up, and so the banker canceled both debts. Which of the two would be more grateful?” Simon answered correctly, “the one who was forgiven the most.”
After pointing out to Simon all that the woman had been doing since she arrived, He said, “She was forgiven many, many sins, and so she is very, very grateful. If the forgiveness is minimal, the gratitude is minimal.” Then, He spoke to her–the first words recorded–and said, “I forgive your sins. … Your faith has saved you. Go in peace.” (Luke 7:36-50 MSG)
When we take our wounded and wayward lives (hearts, minds, bodies, spirits) to Jesus, what healing! what pardon! what freedom there is to be found when He speaks forgiveness and peace to us! He wipes the stain away. He affirms our faith. He sends us out in peace, free from the chains we came into His presence wearing.
“I, even I,” said our Daddy, “am He who blots out your transgressions, for My own sake, and remember your sins no more” (Isaiah 43:25). “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing!” (Is 43:18-19a). “I have swept away your offenses like a cloud, your sins like the morning mist” (Is 44:22).
Though we know in our minds that all sin is sin, sometimes the shadow of our chains lurks around when the sin was one of “those” sins … the kind that come with an “open to the public” sign plastered all over them (even when you didn’t post it!). Still, sin is sin and His forgiveness is real forgiveness.
David Seamands once wrote, “When God forgives, He buries your sins in the sea of His forgiveness and forgetfulness. As Corrie ten Boom says, ‘He then puts a sign on the bank which says: NO FISHING ALLOWED.’ You have no right to dredge up anything that God has forgiven and forgotten. He has put it behind His back.” He chooses to forget.