Remission is not a word we hear much these days when talking about the Bible. Most of the time, we use it in reference to someone who has cancer or another disease, and we talk about them being in remission (meaning that the disease is not active at the present time).
Scripture talks about remission in an entirely different way. Remission in the Bible is not a temporary status, it is forever. The Book of Hebrews explains that in the Old Testament, each sin required a sacrifice of animal blood for remission of the sin.
“Whereupon neither the first testament was dedicated without blood. For when Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and of goats, with water, and scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book, and all the people, saying, this is the blood of the testament which God hath enjoined unto you. Moreover he sprinkled with blood both the tabernacle, and all the vessels of the ministry. And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.” (Heb 9:18-22).
Before Jesus began teaching, God sent Jesus’ cousin, John the Baptist, to prepare the way for the people to hear God’s message. He introduced the people to baptism for the remission of sins.
“As it is written in the prophets, behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee. The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.” (Mark 1:2-4).
When preparing the disciples for what was about to happen with Christ’s sacrifice, He told them, “And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.” (Matt 26:26-28).
After Jesus was crucified on the cross, died, was buried, and rose again, He appeared to His disciples, “And he said unto them, these are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me. Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, and said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behooved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And ye are witnesses of these things. And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.” (Luke 24:44-49).
He explained to them that they (and we) can only have remission of sins through acceptance of Him and belief that He is truly the Son of God. The Apostles had witnessed His life, His death, and His resurrection, and they bore witness to the facts.
“To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.” (Acts 10:43).
Paul spoke plainly and directly, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God.” (Rom 3:23-25).
The Book of Hebrews explains that Jesus is the High Priest, and that each and every person will die, and then they will be judged.
“It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us: Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others; For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.” (Heb 9:23-27).
In the Old Testament, the priests had to stand daily in the Tabernacle and receive sin offerings from the people, and they also had to perform sin offerings for themselves, the people, and even the building/tent. But no more. Jesus doesn’t stand and offer sacrifices every day for our sins; He fulfilled the ultimate sacrifice, and now he “sits at the right hand of the Father.” No more standing, no more sacrificing, it is done!
“And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool. For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified. Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before, This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin.” (Heb 10:11-18).
When we receive forgiveness of our sins, the remission is not temporary with God — it is forever! He remembers our sins No more!
I do continue to pray for each of you during this crisis.