But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year.
Memory is the source both of sorrow and of joy: like the wind, which is laden both with frankincense and with unpleasant odours, which brings both pestilence and health, which both distributes genial warmth and circulates cold. The effect of memory depends on the subject of a particular recollection. This faculty is directed to past events, and if those which memory embraces have been joyous, the effect is joyous; if they have been grievous, the effect, unless there be some counteracting influence, is grievous. Among the. multitude of sorrows, which, memory awakens, none is so bitter as that which arises from the recollection of sin. The recollection of sin is in this world variously originated. Sometimes pride leads a man to dwell on his past errors. He has a very high estimate of himself, and his complacency has been disturbed by some act of transgression, upon which be is constantly looking back. Vanity moves men to remember their errors. The vain man is anxious that others should have a good opinion of him, and his mortified vanity occasions him to look back upon his past faults and failures. Or he has a selfish desire for his own happiness: he sees in the past actions which have interfered with his enjoyment, and he cherishes the remembrance of sin because sin has been drying up the fountain of his pleasures. But turning from the evil powers which originate such recollections, we may look at a broken and contrite heart. Contrition of spirit cherishes the memory of transgression. The recollection of sin is occasioned by various influences, and the effect of these remembrances is various. Sometimes the recollection of sin hardens a man; sometimes it produces strong rebellion. On other occasions it induces deep depression. "The spirit of a man may sustain his infirmities, but a wounded spirit, who can bear?" There is a provision for forgetting our sins. But there was no such provision under the Law, nor in any of the ceremonies that Moses ordained. On the contrary, "in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year." That Jew would not be a true disciple to Moses and true child of Abraham who did not on the Day of Atonement call to mind his trespasses, although he had presented a trespass-offering, and all the sins he had committed, although he had presented his sin-offerings. If you look at the chapter, you will find that this passage is introduced for the sake of forming a contrast between the dispensation under Moses and the dispensation introduced by Christ. "Now there is no remembrance again made of sins." We have had our day of atonement — the day upon which Christ hung on the Cross. We have had our sacrifice offered: it has been both offered and accepted. We have only to feel that it has been offered, and that it is accepted, and then the atonement which removes the outward guilt takes away also from the conscience the sense of guilt. "In these sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year." "But by this one offering He hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified." Here the writer penned these words for the sake of expressing something else which these words suggest to every Christian; such as these thoughts: First, God has made provision for the practical forgetting of sin in His own conduct towards a believing transgressor; and, secondly, the state of the penitent's heart should respond to this provision. This provision is revealed to him on purpose that he may take advantage of it — that he may get all the peace and joy it is calculated to minister. "Thou shalt not remember the reproach of thy widowhood any more." "For a small moment have I forsaken thee, but with great mercies will I gather thee." For the sake of cherishing the spirit of humility, it is right to remember sin; for the sake of learning patience and forbearance and a kind and forgiving spirit towards each other; for the sake of increasing our sense of obligation to the atonement of Christ, and stimulating our gratitude for the everlasting mercy of God, it is right to remember sin; but sin should be forgotten when the remembrance of it would operate as a barrier to intercourse with God. "Ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear, but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father." "Let us, therefore, come boldly unto the throne of grace"; not with the sullenness of Cain — "my punishment is greater than I can bear" — but with all the loving reliance of Abel — "come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need."
1. As an obstacle to hope, there is to be no remembrance of sins. "The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?" "Jehovah is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever."
2. As a check to filial reliance, there is to be no remembrance of sin. "Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him."
3. As marring our complacency in God, there is to be no remembrance of sin. He "hath reconciled us to Himself by Jesus Christ," and annihilated the distance. "You who were far off are brought nigh by the blood of Christ."
4. As hindering our enjoyment in God, there is to be no remembrance of sin. You are not to ask, "Whither shall I go from Thy Spirit, or whither shall I flee from Thy presence?" as though you would go if you could, or as though it would be a relief to take your eye from God's eye and your lip from God's ear; but your resolve must be, I will "go to the altar of my God, to God my exceeding joy."
5. As darkening our prospects, there is to be no remembrance of sin. He has" blotted out as a thick cloud thy transgressions, and as a cloud thy sins." Why is it that some Christians do not realise all this? Why is it that sometimes fear gets the mastery over them? The answer is at hand. Many persons think that they are Christians when they are not. Their repentance has been a thoroughly selfish state of soul, and not a godly sorrow.
Parallel VersesKJV: But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year.