Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord does not impute iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit (Psalm 32:1-2).
In the Old Testament, under the Old Covenant, sin was not cleansed, it was covered. The life of an animal was sacrificed and its blood was poured on the Mercy Seat, which was the lid of the Ark of the Covenant in the Holy of Holies in the temple. The presence of God dwelt in this man made place, and the animal blood provided a covering of “life” for the sins of the Israelites. For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that makes an atonement for the soul (Leviticus 17:11). The word atonement means a covering. Sins were not removed, they were only covered, and the blood had to be re-applied to the Mercy Seat every year on the Day of Atonement. The life represented in the blood covered the sins of Israel so that they could fellowship with a Holy God. When He looked at the Ark of the Covenant with its contents of the Ten Commandments, He saw the blood that covered Israel’s failure to obey His commandments and judgment was abated. Jesus is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world according to John the Baptist. When Jesus spilled His blood on Calvary, died and was resurrected, He took His blood into heaven and placed it before God as an eternal cleansing for our sins. Jesus’ death and resurrection doesn’t just forgive us and cover sin, His death and resurrection literally removes our sin! Our sins are remitted, not covered!
Notice Hebrews 9:24-26: For Christ has not entered the holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us; not that He should offer Himself often, as the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood of another — He then would have had to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now, once at the end of the ages, He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. Our sins have been judged and removed from us when we are Born Again! We are justified. It is Just-As-If-I’d-Never-Sinned! The sin is expunged and forever removed, not covered to be remembered year after year! Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more (Hebrews 10:17). And now, when you miss the mark and sin as a believer, sin is cleansed when you confess it (1 John 1:9). When thoughts of your past deeds come to mind today, remind yourself and the Lord that you are totally forgiven; that your sins have been removed; and thank Him for never remembering them again! The accuser of the brethren wants you to live in the past and brood over your failures. God has made a way through the blood of Jesus for you to completely forget the things which are behind, and reach forward to the things ahead! Act like a person who has never sinned today!