Verse 12. As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us. O glorious verse, no word even upon the inspired page can excel it! Sin is removed from us by a miracle of love! What a load to move, and yet is it removed so far that the distance is incalculable. Fly as far as the wing of imagination can bear you, and if you journey through space eastward, you are further from the west at every beat of your wing. If sin be removed so far, then we may be sure that the scent, the trace, the very memory of it must be entirely gone. If this be the distance of its removal, there is no shade of fear of its ever being brought back again; even Satan himself could not achieve such a task. Our sins are gone, Jesus has borne them away. Far as the place of sunrise is removed from yonder west, where the sun sinks when his day's journey is done, so far were our sins carried by our scapegoat nineteen centuries ago, and now if they be sought for, they shall not be found, yea, they shall not be, saith the Lord. Come, my soul, awaken thyself thoroughly and glorify the Lord for this richest of blessings. Hallelujah. The Lord alone could remove sin at all, and he has done it in a godlike fashion, making a final sweep of all our transgressions.
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS
Verse l2. As far as the east is from the west. The expression taken from the distance of the east from west is pitched upon, saith Kimchi, because those two quarters of the world are of greatest extent, being all known and inhabited. From whence it is that geographies reckon that way their longitudes, as from north to south their latitudes. Henry Hammond.
Verse 12. When sin is pardoned, it is never charged again; the guilt of it can no more return than east can become west, or west become east. Stephen Charnock.
HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS
Verse 12. "Plenary Absolution." See "Spurgeon's Sermons," No. 1,108.
- The union implied. Between man and his transgressions.
- Eternally, in themselves considered.
- The separation effected.
- By whom? "He hath," etc.
- How? By his own Son coming between the sinner and his sins.
- The Re-union prevented. "As far," etc. When east and west meet, then, and not till then, will the reunion take place. As the two extremities of a straight line can never meet, and cannot be lengthened without receding further from each other, so it will ever be with a pardoned sinner and his sins. G. R.