Gone. Really. Gone.

close-up of brown wooden cross

God does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us. [Psalm 103:10-12]

When I was younger, I bashed my shin really bad, and it split open. Blood poured out, and I had to go to the Emergency Room to get some stitches. Eventually the wound healed, but it left a big scar. And that scar is not going to disappear. Ever. It will always be there, on my shin.

We can think about our sin in the same way. We do something wrong, we mess up, we break a promise or say things we later regret. And maybe the “I forgive you” brings about some healing, but it leaves a scar. It leaves our soul with pock marks, scratches, and holes that will never fully disappear. Our relationships continue to bear the mark of iniquity, even if the wound is decades old.

But we have missed God’s message to us. As high as the heavens are from the earth. As far as the east is from the west. That’s how far gone our sins are. They are not meant to leave scars on us. God has forgiven us in Jesus, and he has done away with the wounds and is making us new!

That might be part of the reason that Jesus’s body still bears the scars of the cross. To show that the only scars that will remain are his. The scars that brought us peace, forgiveness, and healing. The holes that we can put our perfectly-forgiven fingers into. The gash in which we can, along with Thomas, place our hand. The scars which will be the only mark in eternity of the slates that have been wiped clean, the transgressions that have been washed away. The iniquities that have been forgiven. The sins that are gone. Really. Gone.

Dear God, we give you thanks that your love has truly worked healing in the depths of our being. It will take us a lifetime to realize the fullness of your work on the cross, and eternity will finally reveal the magnitude of your love. Remind us, now and forever, to live in the forgiveness that Jesus has won for us. In his name we pray, AMEN.

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