Lent Devotional: Psalm 25

by Jonathan Haefs

Psalm 25 (click here)
Remember your mercy, O LORD, and your steadfast love, for they have been from of old. Remember not the sins of my youth or my transgressions; according to your steadfast love remember me, for the sake of your goodness, O LORD!

For your name’s sake, O LORD, pardon my guilt, for it is great. (Psalm 25:6-7, 11)

Why do we pray for forgiveness?

If you’re a believer in Jesus, has he not dealt with all of our sin, past/present/and future, once and for all upon the cross? Are we not a forgiven people? Yet, even Jesus instructed us to repent and pray for forgiveness.

The apostle John counseled Christians to confess their sins so that Christ would cleanse them from all unrighteousness. James tells us to confess our sins to each other so that we may be healed.

Why all this confessing and repenting if Christ’s words upon the cross were true and “it is finished”?

It is true, on the cross Christ purchased our pardon and yet we experience the application of that pardon in real time. It’s like when I tell my wife I love her…she knows that I love her, I don’t say it because it somehow became untrue in the past few hours…no…I say it as a constant application of the truth. My words are one of the ways I express what is true and the truth of my love is felt.

The fact of our forgiveness through the cross cannot be changed! Jesus did finish the work needed to wipe away our sins, but we experience the effects of his achievement in real time through repentance, confession and assurance of forgiveness from our father.

In other words, our repentance is not accomplishing what was lacking in Christ’s work… no… it is the conduit through which we experience what was accomplished in Christ’s work! And when we experience it, we praise him! Herein, lies the ultimate purpose of our need to ask for forgiveness and experience the grace of God over and over… because it leads to the glorification of his name over and over again…day after day!

The psalmist yearned for this… “For YOUR NAME’S SAKE, O LORD, pardon my guilt…”

Our repentance shows our continual reliance on the grace of God… it reveals God’s greatness… it glorifies his name before the world.

*The complete SVCC Lenten reading guide is available here.