"Forgiven and Forgotten"
June 24, 2013
(The Lord said) ... "I will remember their sins and their lawless deeds no more." Where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer any offering for sin. Hebrews 10:17b-18
Joselyn Martinez was nine years old when her father, Jose, was shot and killed by Justo Santos.
When the murder was committed 26 years ago, the police were immediately able to identify the man who committed the crime. Unfortunately, they were not able to capture him because he immediately fled to the Dominican Republic. Since Santos was beyond the long reach of the law, the case grew cold and was quickly forgotten by everyone.
Or should I say it was forgotten by almost everyone.
Martinez's widow never forgot her husband had been killed as he was defending her. Even more, she repeatedly told her daughter to remember the murderer's name. Then the mother would add, "You have to know who did this to your family."
Joselyn Martinez took her mother's words to heart. To help her remember, she even displayed Santos' wanted poster in her bedroom. After she grew up, she took an active role in trying to find her father's killer. She regularly searched Facebook, Twitter and all the social media sites to find some trace of the man.
Eventually, after 10 years of getting nowhere, Joselyn Martinez discovered that Santos had moved back to the United States. Eventually, she was able to give the police her father's murderer, along with his current address and phone number.
Santos was arrested and, according to reports, has confessed his crime.
While I am glad that Joselyn Martinez's work has paid off and her father's murderer is being brought to justice, I give thanks the Lord treats me differently.
As Hebrews says, the Lord prefers to forget our sins and lawless misdeeds. Yes, the Lord forgets but, no, He doesn't forget because He has amnesia or because our sins are not important to Him. On the contrary, the Lord is deeply offended by our transgressions, and He is fully prepared to punish them.
No, the Lord forgets and forgives our sins because the judgment price against us has already been paid. God's own Son came down from heaven and here on earth lived and died, so all who believe on Him might be forgiven of their many wrongdoings.
Now, because of the complete sacrifice made by the Savior and the faith the Holy Spirit has placed into our hearts, the Lord gladly says, "Because there is forgiveness I will remember their sins and their lawless deeds no more."
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, I give thanks the blood of Your Son, my Savior, Jesus Christ, has cleansed me from all sin. For the work Jesus has done, may my life be devoted to showing my thanks. In His Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries