Blessed is the one
whose transgressions are forgiven,
whose sins are covered (PSALM 32:1).
The word forgiven in Psalm 32:1 literally means to “carry away.” It means to lay the blame on some body else. Have you ever heard the term scapegoat? A scapegoat is somebody who takes the fall for somebody else. In David’s time, once a year the high priest would take a goat and lay his hands on the head of that goat and he would confess over it all the transgressions of the people. Then, he would send that goat out into the wilderness never to be seen again.
That is what God does with our transgressions. He carries them away and lays the blame on Jesus. When God allowed his Son to be crucified on the cross, he made him our scapegoat, took all of our iniquities, laid them on Jesus, and he carried them away.
52 Weeks Through the Psalms
It’s no small thing to have one’s sins done away with forever. In the Old Testament, there was only one way to atone for sins: those sins had to be placed on another—a scapegoat—who would carry them away. In the New Testament, likewise, we have been given only one way to be rid of our sins: through the blood of the innocent lamb, Jesus Christ, who bore all the sins of the world. Tragically, not everyone sees the need for another to atone for their sins. Some may doubt they sin at all.
Blessed is the man or woman who fully sees the weight of their sins and then turns to behold the great Savior who bore them for us.
Today, express your thanks for being the forgiven person you are. Thank God that your sins have been taken away forever. So much so that even God forgets your past sins. That’s a truth on which you can firmly plant your feet.
“Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29 Esv).
James Merritt. 52 Weeks Through The Psalms Devotional. Harvest House Publishers. Eugene, Oregon, 2018.