Originally scheduled for February 21
Isaiah 44:22 NIV I have
swept away your offenses like a cloud, your sins like the morning
mist. Return to me, for I have redeemed you."
You will note
that the Lord, speaking here to Judah, seems to divide their
problems into two categories: offenses and sins. It’s an interesting
Offenses, taken in the original Hebrew, cover such thing as
treacherous conduct, rebellion and disobedience. Those things in
your life where you tell Him it doesn’t matter what he says; you’re
going to do what you want to do anyway.
Sins, on the other hand, are those things in which we failed to hit
the mark. Have you ever walked away from a social situation telling
yourself, “I should’ve been more kind. I should’ve been more
understanding.” We knew the right thing to do; we just didn’t have
the courage or the insight to do it correctly.
is described with the use of nouns; its solution is described in
You will note that he says, “I have swept…” — Note the past tense.
It’s already been done. All you need to do is claim the result.
“Swept away” is sometimes translated “blotted out.” You get the
picture of some sticky gray fog surrounding you early in the morning
— and then the sun comes up, and the breeze picks up and the clouds
are gone. It’s just that quick.
So what is it that the Lord wants us to do? He wants us to return
to Him. If you’re going the wrong way, he wants you to turn around
and go the right way. So why should we do that?
The answer is simple: because he has redeemed us (note the past
tense again.) That word redeemed is the same root word that occurs
in the phrase “kinsman redeemer.” It’s not an impersonal
transaction; it was done by a friend of ours. We repent because he
has already redeemed us.
In the Lord’s
Supper we see the symbols of that redemption. Christ, our kinsman
redeemer, one who is a human being just like us, has paid the price
of our redemption. What he asks you to do in this ceremony is to
remember that fact. Remember that he sacrificed for you, before you
were born. Then, as you leave this place, remember what you should
be doing for him. The cup and the bread are symbols of his
sacrifice; but they are also spurs to the repentant life.