One of the best ways to read and study the Bible is to do so by running the references that are given in the verses. As you know, if the Bible you are using has references, there are notations indicated by small superscript letters beside words or phrases in each (or most) verses. These letters correspond to references that are given in the margin or after the verse that talk about the same idea as is mentioned in the verse. Today I ran the references on one of our verses: “as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us.” (103:12)
First, notice that this is telling us what God does with the sins of his people. He removes them infinitely away from us. How do we know it is infinitely? Because David said, “east is from the west.” If he had said north and south there would have been a limit on his forgiveness because one can only travel so far north on the planet until he is no longer going north, he is now headed south. But if one travels east or west he can continue going in either direction for an infinite number of miles just continually circling the globe. But back to the references. What else do these tell us that God has done with our sins?
Isaiah 38:17: “…but in love you have delivered my life from the pit of destruction, for you have cast all my sins behind your back.”
Isaiah 43:25: “’I, I am he who blots out your transgressions for my own sake, and I will not remember your sins.’”
Micah 7:19: “He will again have compassion on us; he will tread our iniquities underfoot. You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea.”
What an amazing picture all these verses give us of the forgiveness of God. But how is it possible for him to forgive in such final and everlasting ways? Because of what Jesus did for us at the cross where he bore our sins in his own body. He took the punishment once and for all so that we might know the forgiveness that only God can give. Glory!
Prayer: Father, thank you for the cross and for our Savior who willingly gave his life as a ransom for many. Thank you that you have removed our sins from us by blood of Jesus and you remember them no more against us. Thank you for the gift of righteousness that replaces the judgment against us. Help us to live as those who have been made righteous in Jesus Christ.