Monday, March 17, 2008
"Of course God will forgive me; that's his job."
Of course God will forgive me; that's his job.
The above quote is attributed to German poet and journalist Heinriche Heine (1797-1856). He supposedly gave this answer when a priest asked him on his deathbed if he thought God would forgive him for his sin.
There is a modern ring to the defiant quote. Most, it seems, view it as God's job, God's obligation even to forgive. We want a God of grace, but not a God of wrath. A God of mercy, but not of justice. A God of heaven, but not of hell.
The Christian concept of forgiveness of sins is not merely wiping the slate clean. It is not mere expiation but propitiation. It involves God's wrath being satisfied in the death of Christ on the cross.
"Yet is pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief" (Isaiah 53:10a).
"He shall see the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied" (Isaiah 53:11a).
"And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission" (Hebrews 9:22).