Forgiven and Forgotten

(The Lord said)… “Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more.”   Hebrews 10:17

Forgiveness is the Prodigal son being received into the loving arms by his loving father.

Joselyn Martinez was nine years old when her father, Jose, was shot and killed by Justo Santos.

When the murder was committed 26 years ago, the police were immediately able to identify the man who committed the crime. Unfortunately, they were not able to capture him because he immediately fled to the Dominican Republic. Since Santos was beyond the long reach of the law, the case grew cold and was quickly forgotten by everyone.

Or should I say it was forgotten by almost everyone.

Martinez’s widow never forgot her husband had been killed as he was defending her. Even more, she repeatedly told her daughter to remember the murderer’s name. Then the mother would add, “You have to know who did this to your family.”

Joselyn Martinez took her mother’s words to heart. To help her remember, she even displayed Santos’ wanted poster in her bedroom. After she grew up, she took an active role in trying to find her father’s killer. She regularly searched Facebook, Twitter and all the social media sites to find some trace of the man.

Eventually, after 10 years of getting nowhere, Joselyn Martinez discovered that Santos had moved back to the United States. Eventually, she was able to give the police her father’s murderer, along with his current address and phone number.

Santos was arrested and, according to reports, has confessed his crime.

While I am glad that Joselyn Martinez’s work has paid off and her father’s murderer is being brought to justice, I give thanks the Lord treats me differently.

As Hebrews says, the Lord prefers to forget our sins and lawless misdeeds. Yes, the Lord forgets but, no, He doesn’t forget because He has amnesia or because our sins are not grievous to Him. On the contrary, the Lord is deeply offended by our transgressions, and He is fully prepared to punish them.

No, the Lord forgets and forgives our sins because the judgment price against us he placed upon His Son as He died upon the cross.  God’s own Son came down from heaven and here on earth lived and died, so all who believe on Him might be forgiven of their many wrongdoings.

Now, because of the complete sacrifice made by the Savior and through faith in Him, our slate is wiped clean; our past is forgiven, our sins are all gone, never to be remembered against us anymore. Jesus paid it all!

The price for sin is death and damnation – eternal separation from God. Pretty steep price! And that was paid in full by Jesus on the cross. His resurrection from the dead proved that payment was acceptable to God. Justice paid means His mercy, His comfort is ours now and forevermore.
Here is a great theological thought worth memorizing.

Mercy is God giving you what you don’t deserve                                                                                                      Grace  is God not giving you what you do deserve.

Pastor Bryant