March 27

Update March 26

In reading yesterday’s Lenten Devotional, I want to clarify something that should have been much clearer. This is the portion from yesterday I want to comment further on.
“Jesus absorbed David’s and our sins into himself and became our sin. He who knew no sin, became sin; took our sin into (should be  “upon”) himself. Second, David asked God to “wash away all my iniquity.” The result was that his and our sin are gone from us.”  
Understand, Jesus was not a sinner hanging on the cross. The part of our sin he took was the punishment, the wrath of God directed toward our sin. Just like the sacrificial lambs in the OT, they didn’t take the sin of the person, but bore the punishment and paid the penalty for the sin by their own death. He paid the penalty for sin in full. In that sense, it was once and for all finished, hence his words from the cross, “It is finished!” The last sentence of the devotional above is poorly expressed! (Needed another edit Sharp!)

March 27

“Against you, you only, have I sinned”

Scripture: Psalm 51:3-4

3 For I know my transgressions,
       and my sin is always before me.

 4 Against you, you only, have I sinned
       and done what is evil in your sight,
       so that you are proved right when you speak
       and justified when you judge.

Reader: This is the word of the Lord.   Response: Thanks be to God.

Some thoughts:
Have you ever thought “Sure I messed up, but it’s not that big of a deal. No one got hurt too badly. I’ll just keep a low profile and things will blow over?”  King David tried that approach too until he ran into Nathan the prophet. We sometimes avoid dealing with our sin by going on with life. We seek to lose the guilty feeling by getting busy with the next thing and hoping others will calm down and forget about what we have said or done. We also get busy to get “it” off our mind and hope that after a time, even we will forget about it as it fades away. Have you noticed that approach really does not work? The “it” gets buried and slowly eats away on us as a slow moving cancer. The Psalmist writes “I know my sins, they won’t go away. I think about them subconsciously.” Do you have a relentless “cloud on a string” that follows you day after day? Imagine there is a dark cloud. It has a long string that is connected to your belt and wherever you go it follows you, reminding you of the “it.” And to make matters worse you can’t untie the string. It doesn’t go away does it? David’s key in dealing with the mess he was in, was acknowledging his sin against God. He confessed what he had done was wrong in God’s sight, the only sight that ultimately matters. As we reflect on our own walk with the Lord during these days of the Lenten season, are we cognizant that the sins in our lives, while at times against other people, are also always against God? Is confession to the Lord for having sinned against him also a part of our prayers? It was so with David.

Music: “Create in Me A Clean Heart O God”    Keith Green an “oldie”

Prayer:  God of compassion, you are slow to anger and full of mercy, welcoming sinners who return to you with penitent hearts. That would be me. Receive in your loving embrace all who come home to you. We confess that we have been wayward children. We have disobeyed your commands; our ears have been purposely deaf to your call; our hearts have been cold to your love. In thought, in word, and in deed, in attitude we have hurt others and dishonored your name. Our sin is against you. Receive us yet again as your beloved fallen children, not because we are worthy, but for the sake of him who loved us and gave himself for us. Amen.
―Dan Sharp