God tells us that, through Jesus, he has removed the
penalty of sin. But we find this hard to accept at face value. We hear that our sins are forgiven, but we
feel the need to add a conditional “if.” We also understand that God’s love for
us is unconditional, and yet we still think there is a “but.” For some reason,
unconditional love and forgiveness seem “too good to be true.”
Even in Old Testament times, some were able to glimpse
into the fullness of God’s desire to forgive and forget. In Psalm 103, verses
11 and 12, David wrote:
“For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far
has he removed our transgressions from us.”
At the time David wrote this, most people never
travelled far from home. They thought of the heavens as an inverted bowl in
which the sun, moon and stars somehow moved. Within their limited grasp of the
cosmos, far East and West could have been just over the horizon, and “as high
as heaven” was somewhere above the clouds.
Nowadays, when we can fly far above the clouds to
travel long distances, David’s analogy may seem less impressive, but it
shouldn’t. Recently, we had a reminder
of how far beyond our human grasp the cosmos really is.
the unmanned spacecraft originally launched September 1977, has been back in
the news. It was launched on a
trajectory that took it past Jupiter and Saturn. Voyager
fulfilled its mission brilliantly, sending back stunning pictures of these two
giant planets. But then, it kept on going–and it is still going, still beaming back
information after 35 years.
Voyager has travelled farther “from
East to West” than any other manmade object. It is now over 11 billion miles
away, close to the point where it will leave our solar system altogether and
head off into interstellar space. It will eventually come under the influence
of another star, but not for another 40,000 years!
Perhaps if David was writing Psalm 103
today, he might say something like this:
“For as far as interstellar space reaches away from earth, so great
is his love for those who fear him; as far as the
Voyager spacecraft has travelled from east to west, so
far has he removed our transgressions from us.”
The point is, God’s love for us, and
his desire to remove the guilt and stain of our sins, is still greater than
anything we humans can imagine, and it always will be.
I’m Joseph Tkach, Speaking of LIFE.