“Have mercy upon me, O God, according to Thy lovingkindness; according to the multitude of Thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions.” Psalm 51:1.
“I have blotted out as a thick cloud thy transgressions, and as a cloud thy sins: return unto Me; for I have redeemed thee.” Isaiah 44:22.
THIS STAIRCASE has been trodden by myriads of penitent souls. Few of God’s elect saints have passed through life without having painfully climbed its stairs. On the wall opposite the pallet in the cell where St. Augustine died, this first verse was set out where his eyes could constantly see it.
The Psalmist uses three words for the Forgiveness he craves–that his transgressions might be blotted out, like the legends scribbled over the ancient Gospels of the palimpsest; that his iniquity should be washed away, as the soil from linen; and that all traces of his past sin should be forgiven and cleansed away, even as leprosy in the case of Naaman was so obliterated that his flesh became as a little child. How tenderly Jesus responded to the agonized cry of the leper for cleansing: “I will, be thou clean!”
How wonderfully these petitions of the soul burdened with the sense of sin are answered! Do you ask to be purged with hyssop? Listen to the voice of God saying: “I even I, am He that blotteth out thy transgressions for My own sake, and will not remember thy sins.” He purges us with the Blood of Christ, who through the Eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God. Do you ask to be made white as snow? “These are they who have washed their robes, and made them white in the Blood of the Lamb.” Do you ask to hear joy and gladness? “It is meet to make merry and be glad, for this, my child was lost and is found.” Do you desire to offer a sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving to God? Give Him your broken and contrite heart; think not that He will despise it! The fragrance of a broken box of alabaster fills Heaven and earth to this day! – F.B. Meyer