“For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.”
Forgive and Forget
The Bible makes it extremely clear that God knows everything. For example: “Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account” (Hebrews 4:13). This means that nothing has ever happened or ever will happen without his knowledge.
Do you understand that? God knows your every thought, word, and action. He knows everything in your past, he knows all about your present, and he even knows your future. He knows everything there is to know about everything.
That kind of knowledge is terrifying. Imagine how uncomfortable you would be if you had to interact with someone who knew all your secrets. Remember, on judgment day, you will have to stand in front of the all-knowing God. You can’t hide anything from him—he knows all your wickedness and your sins.
That is why this verse from Jeremiah chapter 31 is one of the most comforting passages in the entire Bible. You have a God who doesn’t just forgive; he forgets. He promises that the wicked things you are ashamed of and the secret sins that weigh you down have been so forgiven that he doesn’t even remember them anymore.
Yet how can the all-knowing God not only forgive your sins; but also forget them? It is not because he is forgetful, but because he remembered them all on his Son instead of you. When Jesus was on the cross, he endured all of God’s wrath for all of the sins of all of humanity.
So now the all-knowing God who knows all of your sins chooses to not remember them. What should God be angry about when he looks at your life? He doesn’t remember. Because Christ died for sin, that promise is kept.
And since God has forgotten your sin, you can too. Jesus has freed you from the burden of a guilty conscience. God buried your sins in the one place he never will look for them—in Jesus’ empty tomb.
God the Father, thank you for forgetting my sins. God the Son, thank you for dying for them. God the Spirit, give me faith to remember that I am free from guilt. Amen.