Today we commemorate the death of Christ on the cross.
Those horrific, heart-wrenching, agonizing hours when our beloved Jesus suffered...and died. The gruesome beating, the mockery of a trial, the torture of crucifixion. I can hardly bear to think about what my loving, sinless, holy Savior endured that day.
Who in the world could commemorate that day as good? And why?
The answers are Christians and the "why" is found in Isaiah 43:25...
That verse states that God says I,even I, am the one who wipes out your transgressions for My own sake; and I will not remember your sins.
There is a whole lot in that one verse but for today, let's look at it in terms of Good Friday.
The key word is "remember". God is saying that He will wipe out our transgressions against Him, that He will not remember our sins. What does that word "remember" mean? Does God forget what what have done? Do our lawless deeds and hurtful words and selfish ways slip His mind?
How does that fit with His being omniscient, all-knowing????
The meaning of the Hebrew word that we translate as "remember" provides us the insight. "Zakar" means far more than to recall. It is not an acknowledgement of a fact, a memory of an experience nor a consciousness of circumstances. Instead of psychological observation, this word is directed action. "Zakar" calls for the "remember-er" to act in some way upon the "remember-ee", not just passively recall facts.
Here's an example - when it is the birthday of an acquaintance, I might "remember" it and know the date is a special day for them, regardless of whether I acknowledge it to them. They may never know if I "remembered" or not. But when it is the birthday of my child, I "zakar" it and leave no doubt! I not only passively recall the event that occurred in the past, I also celebrate it accordingly! (and, in our family, with enthusiasm and longevity, I might add!)
So when Scripture tells us that God does not "remember" our sins, the more precise word is "zakar". Since God is omniscient, He will always know what sins we are guilty of, both of commission as well as omission. But the result of Good Friday, is that He will not "zakar" the sins of those who trust in Christ. The agony of His death on Calvary satisfied FOREVER the righteous wrath of God on our sin. The punishment that you and I deserve if God were to "zakar" our sins and act accordingly has been already suffered, the penalty already inflicted, the debt already paid.
That, my friends, is what we can call it "GOOD Friday". Without the horror of Christ's death, God could not promise to "zakar" our sin. He would have to inflict upon US the penalty we rightly deserve. Because of Calvary, God wipes away our transgressions; He remembers them no more.
Hallelujah What a Savior!
Let's celebrate with tears and awe such incredible LOVE that chooses not to "zakar"...and remember, Sunday's coming!