“In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through faith [in the working] of God, who hath raised him from the dead. And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he [made alive] together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; And having [disarmed] principalities and powers, he made a [public spectacle] of them openly, triumphing over them in it.”Colossians 2:11-15
I recall a time when I got into trouble at school (which was not entirely unusual). I received a suspension from school and was tasked with telling my mom when I got home that day. I stayed a little later at basketball practice and finally sauntered home. I came in the door dreading the news I had to break to my mom. I told her I had some news to tell her, but she said she had news for me. My mom was excited to see me and told me she had a gift for me. My stomach turned into knots, and I felt worse about what I had to say. I told her I should go first, so I disclosed my suspension to her. Her face saddened and she handed me a box. I opened the box to discover a Bible with my name engraved in gold on the cover. I wished I could have crawled in a hole, but I had to face the music. I opened the cover and it read, “Serve the Lord.” It was dated November 9, 1993 and I have been unable to forget that date.
In the summer before that school year, I had made decisions to do what is right but had failed miserably. I was supposed to be serving the Lord, but yet I was being suspending for cheating on a Bible verse test. My suspension was greeted with a gift that tore through me like a knife. I remember opening the cover and weeping because of how I had disappointed my mom. I had shamed her and done wrong and was rewarded with the very thing I had been neglecting. I am glad that day passed, and I am grateful for a forgiving mom who saw something in me that was, at that time, impossible to see.
I think back to all the sins I have committed in my life, and I cannot imagine what my sin tally is. I think on the times I have asked for forgiveness and He has forgiven me every single time. My sin is not engraved in permanent ink like it is on my Bible. He took my sins and nailed them to the cross. He gave us the power to be dead to our sins that we may walk in newness of life. He rose from the dead that we might have life in Him, and His death is complete. I know of nothing that should excite me more than knowing my sins are all forgiven, and that I am complete in Him. I praise Him for His forgiveness and it compels me to live for Him.
Have you accepted the forgiveness of Jesus Christ? Have you put your total faith and trust in Him? Have you thanked Him for His forgiveness? Do you realize the price that was paid for you? Are you fishing in the sea of past sins or are you experiencing the freedom that comes from His complete forgiveness? May we remember what we have been forgiven of, and may we fully rest in His complete forgiveness. May we live for Him in gratitude and may we forgive others as we have been forgiven.