Wednesday 26 January 2011

Bible Book:

"He also adds, 'I will remember their sins and their lawless deeds no more.'" (v. 17)

Hebrews 10:11-18 Wednesday 26 January 2011


The writer of the book of Hebrews makes numerous references toOld Testament prophecies of the arrival of the Messiah or JesusChrist. Hebrews suggests that all that took place before Christ'sarrival - the rituals and rites associated with Judaism - were mereshadows of what was to come. As a result, the person and work ofJesus Christ are deemed superior to any of the previous religiouspractices. At the heart of this spiritual paradigm shift was asacrificial system for the forgiveness/removal of wrongdoing orsin, in accordance with religious laws. The book of Hebrews arguesthat the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ has perfected andcompleted the previous religious system, which was deemed deficientand lacking.

Today's passage picks up the theme of sin and other forms ofwrongdoing, and explains how the Lord now deals with them. TheBible, and the New Testament in particular, has much to say abouthuman peccadilloes and the Lord's penchant to show mercy anddispense forgiveness. There is an obvious religious propensity tolink forgiveness with forgetting. As a result, the terms 'forgiveand forget' have almost become synonymous; one should follow theother like 'A follows B'.

It is revealing that the writer to the Hebrews uses the phrase"remember ... no more" rather than 'forget' in this instance.Although forgetting can be deemed an admirable trait, it can oftenbe associated with human fallibility. In certain contexts,forgetfulness or forgetting are not positive attributes butweaknesses, whether we are talking about absentmindedness orsomething more serious. By contrast "remember ... no more" infers adeliberate act of will to disregard or not recall anything that haspreviously taken place. There is no probability of vagueness inthis context. It can be argued that this is more in keeping with aperfect, all-powerful God who does not display weakness or anyhuman infallibility.

To Ponder

Although we are often told to 'forgive andforget', this is a lot harder in reality. How far is it reallypossible to forgive and forget?

Forgiving and forgetting are said to be like twosides of the same coin - you cannot have one without the other. Arethere instances when forgetting is inadvisable? For instance, theHolocaust.

If you are to remember, what might be appropriateways (that also acknowledge forgiveness) be?

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