Tucked away in the caverns of the book of Isaiah is this hidden gem:
“I have blotted out your transgressions like a cloud and your sins like mist; return to me, for I have redeemed you.” —Isaiah 44:22
God tells His people that even though their sins against Him are many, He has blotted them out to the point that it’s as if their transgressions are like clouds and sins like a mist. What does this mean?
In the Old Testament, clouds and mist were typically used to describe what is easily and completely taken away. For example, in Hosea 6, God uses clouds and mist to describe Israel’s waning love towards him when he says, “What shall I do with you, O Ephraim? What shall I do with you, O Judah? Your love is like a morning cloud, like the mist that goes early away.”
The idea here is that God has so forgiven His people of their sins it’s as if they never even happened. God is promising that, according to what He will later say in Isaiah 53, He will one day send a Messiah who will take the penalty of the sins of his people forever.
The Apostle Peter builds on this in 1 Peter 2 when he says that Jesus is the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy because he, “Himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.” This means if you place your faith in Jesus—believing He alone can forgive you of your sin and give you life—what was true of God’s people then will be true of you now.
Which makes Isaiah 44:22 not just theoretical, but deeply personal.
If you’re following Jesus, this verse is for YOU, right now: “I have blotted out your transgressions like a cloud and your sins like mist.”
Consider the gravity of such a statement. All of your sin against God—covered, wiped away, annulled, forgiven. Puritan Thomas Goodwin put it this way, “In the gospel, we see a forgiveness of such breadth that is able to cover the sins of millions of worlds; a forgiveness that reaches to eternity, and no sin in God’s people can wear it out.”
In other words, when Jesus died on the cross and was raised from the dead, it was as if He hit “Select-All” on all of your sins—past, present, and future—and put His finger on the delete button, forever.
And that, my friends, is really, really good news.
This article is an excerpt from a sermon I preached at College Park Church. You can view the sermon here:
The sermon begins at 23:38