The Direction of God’s Forgiveness

If you keep going north you’ll end up at the North Pole, and if you go past the North Pole you’re on your way back south, until you go past the South Pole at which point you start going north again.

East and west are different from north and south. You start going east and you keep going east as long as you can keep going. If you head west you keep going west as long as you keep going that direction.

North and south end, east and west don’t. The Bible talks about God forgiving our sins and casting them as far away as the east is from the west, which is an infinite distance. It’s not a north and south forgiveness, for that’s a limited distance.

Most everyone would agree that Jesus was a great teacher, even people of other faiths or of no faith. A frequent theme with Jesus was forgiveness. This is because another common theme of Jesus was sin, which needs forgiveness if it’s to be dealt with.

In human relationships we can try to focus on understanding each other, giving each other some space, helping each other and other positive measures. All of this is not enough. You can’t have a close relationship among two imperfect people for very long before forgiveness has to come into play, on both sides.

Jesus made it clear, as does the whole Bible, that we can try to have a relationship with God by meditation, right behavior and good religious rituals, but this is not enough. Because a relationship with God involves one very imperfect participant (insert the word sinner), namely you and me, forgiveness on His part has to come into play if there’s to be a relationship.

The good news is that He is more than anxious to forgive if we’re willing to admit we need forgiving! We can find the courage to admit our sinfulness, because no sin is so great that His forgiveness is not greater still. His is not a north and south forgiveness but an east and west forgiveness!

“… as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.” Psalm 103:12

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