Unforgotten Yet Forgiven

We have a strange illusion that time cancels sin, 

but time does nothing either to the fact 

or to the guilt of a sin. (1)

The blessing of time is that it dulls and whitewashes the memory of many sins.

However, I have a few memorable sins which still haunt me:

  • The joke which crushed the spirit of a friend.
  • The prank which embarrassed a colleague.
  • The evasion which did not bring sanctuary.
  • The white lie dyed red in the blood of Jesus.

We all have sins which are hard to forget.  We have piles of guilt hidden in closets, under beds, and in the shed.  Piles which would cast a huge shadow if brought to light and stacked atop one another.  Our own shadow of shame.

While we forget our sins and flee pangs of guilt, hoping they vanish from our memory, we have to recognize that God never forgets our sins.  His omniscience, omnipotence, and omnipresence means His memory is not subject to corrosion.

C. S. Lewis writes:

God sees you forever in the nursery pulling the wings off a fly, forever toadying, lying, and lusting as a schoolboy, forever in that moment of cowardice or insolence as a subaltern? (1)

God if He choses to reminisce, can replay our sins in HD Retina Display quality on His big screen TV in heaven.

When Peter, James, and John fell asleep, for the third time, in The Garden of Gethsemane, surely Jesus remembered the impetuousness of their boasting of faithfulness in the past and their impending sin of denial and desertion coming before dawn.

Perhaps this is why, he exclaimed “Apechei” which is a a Greek utterance of exasperation, a sigh of disgust.  Translators trying to express this exasperation into English, have used phrases like enough or what’s the use.

It is the phrase used by a father when he realizes that his child is incapable of doing what needs to be done.

Caught again in the guilt of their sins, Jesus says:

“Are you still sleeping and taking your rest? It is enough! The hour has come. The Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. Rise, let us be going; see, my betrayer is at hand.” (2)

Jesus, fully aware of the guilt of our sins past and future, stays the course.  While grieved, He is fully committed to His love for us.  He rises and heads to the cross, which is where the debt of our sin is washed in His blood.

The sins of my past still haunt me, even while they no longer are a burden to bear nor a debt to repaid.

Thanks be to God who never forgets, yet who is steadfast in His love!

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  1. Lewis, C. S. A Year with C. S. Lewis (p. 75). Harper Collins, Inc.. Kindle Edition.
  2. The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton: Standard Bible Society, 2001), Mark 14:41–42.
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