“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” (2 Corinthians 5.17)
I saw the ball drop in Times Square last night. With the final tick of a clock the old year passes and we begin again. It’s the hope that this year will be different. I’ll make fewer mistakes and achieve more of my goals.
But often the “bygones” of previous years don’t pass so easily. We can be stuck in time–a failure over which we’re still ashamed, a resentment we can’t let go of. Someone tells us, “Get over it.” But how do we?
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could press a RESET button somewhere on the back of our skull, and all these unpleasantries would simply be forgotten? But the truth is that they don’t go away so easily.
Something within us knows that our debts don’t simply vanish. Someone has to foot the bill. And what about our debts to God? Try as we might, we cannot work them off; we cannot escape them. Only God can forgive sins.
Guilt we carry is one of the greatest causes of mental illness. But no drug can take away our guilt. Only one thing can free us from this debtor’s prison: the sacrifice of Christ. Only this satisfies God’s justice; only this foots the bill.
But how do we experience this divine forgiveness? We must enter through the narrow passageway of believing in Jesus Christ. Amazingly, God is willing to cancel our debts, but we must first believe. That is how we are “in Christ”. That is how we become “a new creation”.
Have you experienced this? There is no greater freedom than to be forgiven. We may not have a RESET button, but by grace we have been given the means that we can be re-created; the old things can pass away, and all things can become new. This New Year may we all receive by faith this amazing gift of forgiveness, and then may we pass it on to someone else. It’s the only way for bygones to truly be bygones. It’s the only way to begin again.
Leave a Reply