How many are my iniquities and my sins?
Have you ever really weighed and considered how great the sin of God’s people is? Think how heinous is your own transgression, and you will find that not only does a sin here and there tower up like an alp, but that your iniquities are heaped upon each other, as in the old fable of the giants who piled Pelian upon Ossa,1 mountain upon mountain. What an aggregate of sin there is in the life of one of the most sanctified of God’s children! Attempt to multiply this, the sin of one only, by the multitude of the redeemed, “a great multitude that no one could number,”2 and you will have some conception of the great mass of the guilt of the people for whom Jesus shed His blood. But we arrive at a more adequate idea of the magnitude of sin by the greatness of the remedy provided.
It is the blood of Jesus Christ, God’s only and well-beloved Son. God’s Son! Angels cast their crowns before Him! All the choral symphonies of heaven surround His glorious throne. “God over all, blessed forever. Amen.”3 And yet He takes upon Himself the form of a servant and is scourged and pierced, bruised and torn, and at last slain; nothing but the blood of the incarnate Son of God could make atonement for our offenses.
No human mind can adequately estimate the infinite value of the divine sacrifice, for although the sin of God’s people is great, the atonement that takes it away is immeasurably greater. Therefore, even when sin rolls in like a flood, and the remembrance of the past is bitter, the believer can still stand before the blazing throne of the great and holy God and cry, “Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised.”4 While the recollection of the believer’s sin fills him with shame and sorrow, its very darkness serves to show the brightness of mercy; guilt is the dark night in which the fair star of divine love shines with serene splendor.
1) The giant sons of Iphimedia who tried to reach Olympus by piling Mt. Pelian on Mt. Ossa (The Odyssey).
2) Revelation 7:9
3) Romans 9:5
4) Romans 8:34