Wednesday, September 11, 2013

We Shall Ever Forgive . . . & . . . Live

A thought and emotion provoking image on this day of 9/11:

In my Internet search I also found:

While the first image does not say the same as the second, such remembrance leads to the same in many if not even in all instances.  Remembering the wrong done and the loss incurred ultimately leads to anger and resentment and eventually even hatred.

We humans do not have the capability of erasing such things from our memories.  We can suppress them or avoid them or ignore them.  We can try to bury them with busyness and other thoughts.  But we are designed to remember.  Our contacts and encounters are stored permanently in our memories.

However, we do not have to dredge up our memories.  We do not have to make them our point of focus.

Furthermore, at least for those who are regenerated into God’s Holy Communion in Christ, we have the gift of Forgiveness.

Forgiveness does not equal forgeting.

Forgiveness is the disassociation of those who are forgiven from their sinful actions.

This is how the Lord says concerning this matter:

For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.  (Hebrews 8:12)

How is it that the omniscient God who knows all and remembers all is able to say that He will remember His forgiven ones’ sins no more?  It is because He has taken their guilt and made it His own and paid the price of redemption Himself.

As a good friend frequently reminds me, guilt is not a feeling, it is an accounting term, a legal accounting term.  Guilt is not merely a feeling that accompanies awareness of wrongdoing.  Guilt is the accounting that binds a person to the wrongs that have been done.  It is the pronouncement of an unpayable debt.  Redemption from guilt can only be paid by one who is free of such debt, one who has no guilt, one who has committed no wrong.

This is what God has done for sinners.  He took the sin of the world and declared the entire world to be guiltless in Christ.  This does not mean that people are guilt free apart from Christ.  Only in Christ is this declaration valid.  The justification that God has accomplished for all is IN Christ.  God applies this declaration to individuals through Baptism, baptism into Christ.

In this way God divorces individuals from their unrighteousness and marries them to His own righteousness in Christ.  Therefore, for all who are in Christ, there remains no condemnation.  Thus, for all who are in Christ, He remembers their sin no more, for He has set them free from their sin so that it is no longer accounted as theirs.

So what does it profit a person to cling to the memory of their lost loved ones?  Surely we will remember.  Surely various dates will cause us to remember them and what gifts they have been to us and in many ways continue to be to us.  Surely we will remember the wisdom taught to us by parents and grandparents and other teachers.  Surely we will rejoice in such remembrance.  But what value is remembrance that recalls grief and perpetuates the sense of loss?

There is truly only one such remembrance that serves us profitably.  That is the continual remembrance of our loss of accountability for our sin, the loss effected for us in our baptism and continually renewed for us in Christ’s Holy Supper.  Through these our identification of guilty ones has been taken from us and replaced with identification with the name of Jesus, the holiness of God.  In Him we rejoice in remembering this great and wonderful loss, a loss that is everlasting profit and blessing to us.

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