“I am about to create new heavens and a new earth; the things of the past shall not be remembered or come to mind. Instead, there shall always be rejoicing and happiness in what I create.” – Is. 65: 17-18
"Forgive and forget.” How often have we heard that phrase nonchalantly thrown around as if the alliteration and rhythm of the words makes the execution as free-flowing as it sounds? When we are mired in our own wounds, forgiving someone who has offended us is a difficult enough proposition. So forgetting that offense is the last thing on our mind. What about the sins we have committed? I struggle with letting go the things I have done and continually to do wrong. There are periods where guilt saturates my conscience. My rebuttal to “Forgive and forget” is often “Improbable and impossible”.
Mercifully, that is not Jesus’s rebuttal. One of the most poignant scene in Mel Gibson’s The Passion of Christ is when Jesus meets Mary on the road to Calvary and says, “See, mother, I make all things new.” The scene is heart-wrenching cinematographically because we see the physical suffering of Jesus meeting the emotional suffering of Mary. However, what touches our core is realizing through His passion, Jesus is gathering us closer to Himself to recreate us anew. He is saying we are not what we have done in the past, nor are we what others have done to us. Our sins and our wounds are not the final word.
In Isaiah, God the Father goes even farther. Not only are we recreated anew, but “the things of the past shall not be remembered or come to mind.” God willingly and even joyfully chooses to erase our painful past from His omniscient mind. God the prodigal father achingly waits for us, wipes away our misery, and clothes us afresh with His delight, all the while forgetting the offenses. I take solace that although I wrestle with forgiving and forgetting the sins others and myself, God is recreating and rejoicing in me through my struggles.
Merciful Jesus, thank you for being patient with me and continually recreating me to be more like You so that I may in some small way participate with You to make all things new.