In those days and in that time, declares the LORD, iniquity shall be sought in Israel, and there shall be none, and sin in Judah, and none shall be found, for I will pardon those whom I leave as a remnant.
I am sending you some extracts from another of my favourite authors, F.W. Boreham, from his volume entitled When the tide comes in and the chapter headed ‘The futile Search.’
“Of all the searches, the strangest and most intriguing is the search of which the prophet Jeremiah tells: ‘In those days, and in that time, says the Lord, the iniquity of Israel shall be sought for and there shall be none; and the sins of Judah, and they shall not be found; for I will pardon them.’ (Jeremiah 50:20)
The search for my sin! My transgressions shall be sought for!
It is not clear whether the expedition is an expedition of angels or an expedition of devils; but it is an expedition that will leave no stone unturned in its efforts to trace those iniquities of mine. It will ransack the loftiest mountains and scour the loneliest valleys; it will comb the sands of the endless deserts, thread the labyrinths of the deepest mines, pierce the tangle of the densest jungles, penetrate the silence of the eternal snows. It will search the dizziest heights above and the dreariest depths beneath; it will climb the steep ascents of Heaven, and rattle at the gates of Hell. The immensities, the infinities and the eternities will all be sifted and scanned.
Where are my sins?
In my anxiety I determined to enquire. I opened my Bible. I found that the Old Testament is dominated by the prophets – the minor prophets and the major prophets. I decided to ask one of each.
As a representative of the minor prophets, I consulted Micah. Micah had a good deal to say about sin, and I somehow felt that he would sympathise. ‘Where are my sins?’ I asked him. And he replied without a moment’s hesitation: ‘They are in the depths of the sea!’ ‘He has cast all our sins into the depths of the sea!’
As a representative of the major prophets, I sought the counsel of the most evangelistic of them all. I vaguely felt that Isaiah would probably have something to say that would comfort me. Nor was I mistaken. ‘Where are my sins?’ I asked him. ‘Are they where they can never be found?’ And Isaiah replied as Micah had done without a second’s delay: ‘They are behind God’s back.’ ‘You have cast all my sins behind your back.’
Crossing the frontier from the Old Testament to the New, I sought to avail myself of the consecrated wisdom of the apostles, Peter first of all. ‘Where are my sins?’ I asked him. Peter looked at me in surprise. ‘Your sins!’ he exclaimed. ‘Why they have been borne away – borne away by the Divine Scapegoat, Who, in His own person, bore our sins in His own body up to the tree!’
From Peter I turned to Paul. ‘Where are my sins?’ I asked him. One of these days, I explained, they will be searched for; are they where neither Heaven nor Hell can find them?’ ‘Your sins!’ Paul exclaimed. ‘Why they are nailed to the Cross! The Son of God took the whole list of them – the handwriting that was against you – and nailed it to His Cross, glorying as He did so, in its utter extinction and complete destruction!’
It was His supreme revenge. My sins nailed Him to the Cross, and then by way of divine retaliation, He took the hammer in His divine hand and nailed them to it!
My sin; oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part, but the whole,
Is nailed to His Cross, and I bear it no more;
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, oh, my soul!
In the depths of the sea! Behind God’s back! Borne away by the Scapegoat! Nailed to the Cross! How can such sins ever be found?”