When he invented the pencil eraser, British engineer Edward Nairne was reaching instead for a piece of bread. Crusts of bread were used then, in 1770, to erase marks on paper. Picking up a piece of latex rubber by mistake, Nairne found it erased his error, leaving rubberized “crumbs” easily swept away by hand.
With us too the worst errors of our lives can be swept away. It’s the Lord—the Bread of Life—who cleans them with His own life, promising never to remember our sins. “I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake,” says Isaiah 43:25, “and remembers your sins no more.”
This can seem to be a remarkable fix—and not deserved. For many, it’s hard to believe our past sins can be swept away by God “like the morning mist.” Does God, who knows everything, forget them so easily?
That’s exactly what God does when we accept Jesus as our Savior. Choosing to forgive our sins and to “[remember them] no more,” our heavenly Father frees us to move forward. No longer dragged down by past wrongs, we’re free of debris and cleaned up to serve, now and forever.
Yes, consequences may remain. But God sweeps sin itself away, inviting us to return to Him for our clean new life. There’s no better way to be swept away.
What things from your past do you have trouble forgetting? Ask God to help you take Him at His word.
The theme of forgiveness found in Isaiah 44:21–23 beautifully describes the lavish grace and mercy of the God who forgives. Here God speaks to His wayward people and calls them to three important responses. First, they are challenged to remember that they have been made by Him and called to relationship with Him—for He will never forget them (v. 21). In spite of their spiritual drifting, Yahweh has extravagantly poured out forgiveness on them. Their response to this forgiveness? They are to return to Him (v. 22), accepting His gift of redemption. Finally, they are to witness the way that all of creation celebrates the mercy and love of their forgiving God (v. 23). Just as God’s glory is revealed in His creation, He also has chosen to reveal it in His forgiven, restored, and redeemed covenant people.
For more on God’s forgiveness, read The Forgiveness of God at discoveryseries.org/q0602.