If you had been somehow able to view from outside our bathroom window, the conversation I just had with my wife, (why is it that all meaningful conversations in my house happen in the bathroom or the kitchen?) you would have wondered what that crazy woman was doing bouncing back and forth, hopping first on one foot, then the other, and at twelve midnight no less. What she was trying to do was have me grasp the significance of what she calls, “Forgiveness Now!” or if that doesn’t capture it, maybe, “You Can’t Outrun Forgiveness” will help.
How do you talk about or illustrate what happens in the ever present now? Marti’s attempt was to hop from one “now” to the immediate next “now” by going “Ooops” (hop) “Forgiven”… “Ooops” (hop) “Forgiven”… “Ooops” (hop) “Forgiven”… “Ooops” (hop) “Forgiven”…. Etc., etc.. Her point was to get me off contemplation and into action. God’s promises are to be entered into, not studied and analyzed.
The cross to Marti, is not an abstract symbol to be pondered. We don’t take our folding chairs and our notebooks to the cross and wait for further instructions. We step into the life the cross made possible. We live the forgiveness the cross bought for each one of us. We enter the perpetual “now” where forgiveness is a current reality because our sin is ever before us, but here’s the thing: You can’t outrun your forgiveness. You can’t sin fast enough to beat your forgiveness (not that anyone should want to try). It’s there right now. Ooops, and right now. And Ooops, now again …
But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate who pleads our case before the Father. He is Jesus Christ, the one who is truly righteous. He himself is the sacrifice that atones for our sins—and not only our sins but the sins of all the world. (1 John 2:1-2)
1 John 1:9