Believe it or not, I learned to type on a real typewriter. The kind probably on display at the Smithsonian Institute. Not only that, but it was a manual typewriter, meaning the keys didn’t instantly depress with just a light touch as was the case with electric typewriters. You had to exert real finger power to push letters toward a piece of paper, along with inserting spaces between words, sentences and lines.
On top of that, we had a tool called “White-Out” that was necessary to make corrections. For younger readers, the typewriters we used couldn’t highlight words or sentences and then remove them either by hitting a delete button or by cutting and pasting. Nope, we had to make corrections and changes just as we typed – manually. The alternative was having to retype an entire page.
I mention this not to take a stroll down memory lane or offer a history lesson on the challenges of being a writer all those years before the invention of the desktop computer. It’s just that White-Out brings to mind what Jesus Christ did for each of us on the cross, although the analogy admittedly has limitations.
White-Out worked pretty well, but if you wanted to present a flawless paper – perhaps for a college class or to submit a manuscript – a careful observer could still see if incorrections had been covered up. On the other side of the paper, you could find impressions of errors still there. So, an error wasn’t truly removed; it was just concealed from view.
Contrast that with the atoning sacrifice Jesus made for us on the cross when He shed His blood for us. Many believers refer to this as being “covered in the blood.” Ephesians 1:7 asserts, “in Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.” Colossians 1:20 expresses it another way: “and through Him to reconcile to Himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through His blood, shed on the cross.”
Instead of “White-Out,” Jesus removed our sins, which the Scriptures also term as “transgressions,” with red – His own blood. Our sins that Christ atoned for, giving us complete and eternal forgiveness, aren’t just covered over, as if they could be swept under a rug. They are removed completely. We’re assured in Psalm 103:12, “As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.”
If that’s not clear enough, the Lord assures us in Isaiah 43:25, “I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions, for My own sake, and remember your sins no more.”
Many of us wrestle with memories of sins committed in the past, thinking, ‘How could I have done that?’ or ‘How could I have said that?’ God doesn’t have a problem with memory; He chooses to both forgive and forget our sins, wiping them away without a trace, unlike the typewriter’s “White-Out which merely covered over errors.
As it says in Hebrews 9:14, “How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death….” Similarly, Romans 5:9 announces, “Since we have now been justified by His blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through Him!”
The Gospel of Jesus Christ, His death and resurrection, is rightly termed “Good News” because we no longer need to be burdened by guilt for sins that can’t be undone. The last book in the Bible, opens with this reminder about “… [Jesus Christ] who loves us and has freed us from our sins by His blood” (Revelation 1:5).
Perhaps at times you have found yourself dwelling on the past, wishing there were some kind of spiritual White-Out to make rueful memories and the consequences of your sins go away. At such times we need to remember Jesus has done something better – much, much better. “But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ” (Ephesians 2:13).
The question is, have we truly received Christ as Savior and Lord? John 1:12 states, “Yet to all who received Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God.” If we have that assurance, then we can find comfort and confidence in the promise of 1 John 1:7, “But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, His Son, purifies us from all sin.”
God uses neither White-Out nor whitewash. In the words of the old hymn, “There is a fountain filled with blood drawn from Immanuel’s veins; and sinners, plunged beneath that flood, lose all their guilty stains.” Not covered up – it’s gone completely. Amen and amen!
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Robert J. Tamasy is a veteran journalist, former newspaper editor and magazine editor. Bob has written, co-authored and edited more than 15 books. These include the newly published, ”Marketplace Ambassadors”; “Business At Its Best: Timeless Wisdom from Proverbs for Today’s Workplace”; “Tufting Legacies,” “The Heart of Mentoring,” and “Pursuing Life With a Shepherd’s Heart.” A weekly business meditation he edits, “Monday Manna,” is translated into more than 20 languages and sent via email around the world by CBMC International. The address for his blog is www.bobtamasy.blogspot.com. His email address is email@example.com.