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  ” …having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross.”

– Colossians 2.14

I grew up in a church that had a strong revivalist heritage. Songs of repentance and confession were at the forefront of its hymnody. One of my favorites came from Isaac Watts. It is known as “At the Cross.”

Alas! and did my Savior bleed
And did my Sov’reign die?
Would He devote that sacred head
For such a worm as I?

At the cross, at the cross where I first saw the light,
And the burden of my heart rolled away,
It was there by faith I received my sight,
And now I am happy all the day!

Thy body slain, sweet Jesus, Thine—
And bathed in its own blood—
While the firm mark of wrath divine,
His soul in anguish stood.

Was it for crimes that I had done
He groaned upon the tree?
Amazing pity! grace unknown!
And love beyond degree!

Well might the sun in darkness hide
And shut his glories in,
When Christ, the mighty Maker died,
For man the creature’s sin.

Thus might I hide my blushing face
While His dear cross appears,
Dissolve my heart in thankfulness,
And melt my eyes to tears.

But drops of grief can ne’er repay
The debt of love I owe:
Here, Lord, I give myself away,
’Tis all that I can do.

I find that the problem for most of us not ignorance of our sin. It is forgetfulness. Just as the past often becomes more ideal in the distance of many days, sin becomes less onerous. The nature of God’s forgiveness is forgetting. But that has to do with forgetfulness of the transgressed, not the transgressor. When we confess our sin, He is faithful and just to forgive our sins and cleanse us of all unrighteousness … and then he forgets the sin. He remembers it no more. It no longer separates us from him.

But as the transgressor, to forget that we have sinned–to forget sins awful consequences–is to enter a world of moral naivete where sin is likely to recur because we are not prompted to pursue righteousness.

This Lent, as you reflect on your sin and its impact, remember also the price our Savior paid for the sin we so idly commit.

He canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross.lent_image001


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