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Articles > Blotting Out Our Transgressions

17 Jul 2011

“Have mercy upon me, O God, according to Your lovingkindness; according to the  multitude of Your tender mercies, blot out my transgressions” (Psalm 51:1)


David cried out to God – “have mercy on me and blot out my transgressions.”  Thank God our heavenly Father sent Jesus Christ, who gave His blameless life for our guilty one, and whose shed blood cleanses and washes away the stains of sin that would otherwise utterly saturate our lives. 

      Not only did Christ’s blood cleanse us from all unrighteousness, but it covers and blots out all of our transgressions.  The word David used when he asked God to “blot out” his transgressions is translated from the Hebrew word “machah.”  This word means to “stroke” or “rub” and by implication it means to “erase.”  

      When preaching his first message Peter used this same word when he challenged the crowd to:

           “Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times

            of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord,” (Acts 3:19)

      In this verse the term “blotted out” is taken from the Greek word “exaleipho” and is actually translated as to “smear out” or to “obliterate.  God’s provision calls for a total removal of all traces of our sins, transgressions and iniquities by erasing them.  Through Christ, God literally obliterates – destroys, wipes out, and reduces to nothingness – our sins and transgressions.  In His great mercy, God is calling out to all of humanity saying: 

             “I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions for My own sake; And I will not

              remember your sins” (Isaiah 43:25)

      God not only totally destroys and removes all traces of our transgressions, but He refuses to remember our sins.  How great is that? God obliterates our sins and transgressions, and then wipes out all recall of them from His memory banks.

      You’d think all mankind would be running to God to have the weight of their transgressions removed and all record of their sins erased from His mind.  Wow, you mean God is willing to give us a clean slate – a chance to come clean and stay clean.  This has to be the greatest deal ever made to man.

      Yet, even many Christians do not take God up on His generous offer.  Oh, yes most all professing Christians have a genuine initial salvation experience, however, many do not pursue the call to “work out their own salvation with fear and trembling” (Phil. 2:12). 

      Why is this?  Usually, it’s because they limit God’s blotting out ability by refusing to yield their innermost hurts and secrets to Him.  God cannot blot out that which we’ve chosen to blot out ourselves.  What do I mean? 

      Well, our experience has taught us that the human psyche has a tremendous capacity to suppress our memories.  Especially, memories of times or life situations that are filled or associated with pain, shame, guilt, disgust, bitterness, sorrow, or a whole multitude of negative emotions.  One of fallen humanity’s primary defense mechanisms is to automatically rush to minimize psychological pain by suppressing it. 

      This is done by pushing our pain down and stuffing it into the unconscious part of our minds.  Most often, this pain is linked to someone, who, at some point in our personal history, used, abused, wounded, violated, or betrayed us in some way. 

      Part of our condition is also associated with our response to being hurt or violated.  This may surface in the form of: various types of anger, veiled rebellion, trouble forgiving others or ourselves, unspoken vows of revenge or of never letting it happen again, selfish ambition, competitiveness, spiritual social climbing, striving to gain and maintain control, and other fleshly reactions.  Although, the person that violated us transgressed against us, our fleshly reactions result in us offending, hurting, or controlling others also. 

      In suppressing, we use our own spiritual energy and psychological ability to blot out our pain.  Because we’ve blotted it out ourselves, God has no access to it and therefore it remains untouched, unsanctified, and unrestored by the almighty cleansing and healing power of Christ’s blood and the Spirit-inspired revelation of God’s word.

      Even though we put on a friendly smile and speak all the right Christian verbiage, and go through all the appropriate religious gestures and motions, in our heart of hearts, we know that something’s just not right.  Despite our determined efforts we find ourselves struggling to be authentic and transparent.  Although we truly desire the freedom to be real, our inability to trust keeps us from being vulnerable in sharing heart-felt issues with others.    

      In all of this we need to remember that Jesus said; The Father has “sent Me to heal the broken-hearted…and…to set at liberty those who are bruised” (Luke 4:18).  It is worthy to note that Jesus said, I was sent, that’s right, My Father sent me specifically to heal your broken and bruised heart.  What happened to you in your past was a work of the devil and I have come to destroy his efforts to set up shop in your life! 

      Jesus said,” behold I stand at the door and I knock, if anyone hears my voice and opens the door I will come into him” (Rev.3:20).  Jesus is just waiting for an invitation.  If you will open the door to the innermost regions of your heart He will come in and show you how to let go of the pain.  And He will give you the power and ability to process the pain and follow through in seeing your heart healed and restored by His love.

      God also tells us to “confess our faults to one another that we might be healed” (James 5:16).  When we verbalize our deep inner secrets, we are unpacking hidden things and bringing them into the light.  Doing this totally dismantles Satan’s ability to keep on beating us up with fear and condemnation. So look for a healthy responsible friend that will listen and keep what you share to him or herself.  A big part of trusting God is taking the risk to trust others.  

      For God to blot out our transgressions with the blood shed by His Son, we have to be willing to open up to Him and trusted friends.  We need to invite Him into the deepest places in our heart, surrender our hearts and our hurts to Him, and obey what He instructs us to do, then watch His healing and restoration process unfold.

© Ivan Doxtator 2011

Ivan Doxtator