Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven,
whose sin is covered.
Blessed is the man against whom the Lord counts no iniquity,
and in whose spirit there is no deceit.
For when I kept silent, my bones wasted away
through my groaning all day long.
For day and night your hand was heavy upon me;
my strength was dried up] as by the heat of summer. Selah
I acknowledged my sin to you,
and I did not cover my iniquity;
I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,”
and you forgave the iniquity of my sin. Selah (Psalm 32:1–5)
Throughout our time together, we have used the shadow of the cross as a mixed metaphor. The cross cast a shadow across all of human history. It is a reminder of the desperate state of humanity: broken, sinful, and in need of redemption. The same shadow, however, is a reminder that God, from the very beginning, promised redemption and that he would do whatever it takes for his covenant of love and redemption to be completed – even identifying with our sin and brokenness and taking our punishment upon himself.
What’s the difference? Why is the cross a shadow of wrath for some and a shadow of redemption for others? Why is the shadow of the cross a curse for some while for others it is a blessing beyond description? The same suffering, the same pain, the same circumstances, but for some there is meaning, purpose, and hope, while for others meaninglessness, wandering, and despair. Why?
I think David reveals the key in his own struggling with God. When he attempted to hide his sin from God, he was dying inside. And hiding from God is futile, as he reminds us in Psalm 139; there is no place to hide from God.
The key to the shadow bringing hope, therefore, is not hiding our sin from God, or pretending like it has never happened. The key to move from the suffering of the shadow of the cross to the joy of the shadow is confession – agreement with God. David says that when he finally confessed his sins to God, God provided forgiveness and restoration. The circumstances did not change, and there were still consequences for David’s actions, but God forgave the guilt of David’s sin. This changed David’s attitude.
What are you trying to hide from God? What do you need to confess to find forgiveness from sin, freedom from guilt, and the hope that comes from agreement with God?
Heavenly Father, thank you for the forgiveness and blessing you provide when we confess our sin of which you are already aware. In the name of Jesus, amen.