Judges 9-10

Luke 5:17-39


“You, Lord, are forgiving and good, abounding in love to all who call to You.” —Psalm 86:5 

Christ’s death on the cross is the means by which we receive forgiveness, but many Christians overlook the significance of His burial. Condemned to death as a criminal, Jesus’s body was now a possession of the Roman authorities to bury as they saw fit. Normally, the Romans burned crucified bodies, but Pilate made an exception when Joseph of Arimathea requested to bury Jesus’s body in Joseph’s family tomb.

These details are not incidental. Hundreds of years earlier, Isaiah prophesied the unique circumstances surrounding Christ’s burial, writing, “He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in His death” (Isaiah 53:9). Christ’s burial, not just His death, was predetermined in the mind and heart of God with a purpose. In baptism, when one is submerged in water, that is a symbol of our sin being dealt with, dead and buried.

Scripture is full of images that say something similar about the finality of sin that has been placed on Christ. Micah 7:19 says of God, “[You will] hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea.” The late Corrie Ten Boom, whose family helped Jews escape during the Holocaust, used to say of this verse that God puts up a “No Fishing” sign. Those sins are gone; nothing good comes from trying to fish them out again.

David writes, “As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us” (Psalm 103:12). These directions are irreconcilable; if a person continually travels west, they can circle the globe over and over without ever travelling east. Or, the prophet Isaiah recorded God saying, “I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions, for My own sake, and remembers your sins no more” (Isaiah 43:25). It is not that God is forgetful but that He never recalls these sins again. By God’s reckoning, our sins are taken beyond our reach and are never to be held against us again.

Some Christians find this hard to believe. They feel trapped in a cycle of confessing the same sins over and over because they do not feel forgiven. But Paul writes, “There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1). The devil is the one who condemns, trying to smother us under feelings of guilt and shame for past sins, but Jesus liberated us by carrying our sins to the tomb and leaving it there. No matter how condemned we may feel, we can rest assured that forgiveness is accomplished by Jesus’s finished work on the cross. As we wait upon Easter, may we know that our sins are forgiven.

Lord God, I am forgiven of my sins because You died on the cross for me. Thank you for taking my guilt and shame to the grave

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