Jesus represented God
I have heard people telling me that they would much prefer to be dealt with by Jesus than by the God of the Old Testament who is seen as being fierce and unforgiving. We could go throughout the Old Testament and show that God was actually full of compassion and kindness to people who didn’t deserve it, but it is on Jesus that I want to focus today.
We are told that: “The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word” (Heb. 1:3 NIV). In other words, the God of the Old Testament was fully expressed in Jesus. Everything Jesus did and said was from the heart of God.
Jesus was always looking for the opportunity to show mercy. Take the woman caught in the act of adultery, for instance. Despite men agitating for her to be stoned, Jesus gently set her free and told her to sin no more. No matter how far removed a person was from God, they were shown extraordinary kindness and forgiveness.
Jesus was actively seeking the harlots and tax collectors, the people who had removed themselves so far from Him. He wanted them to understand their need of a Messiah, to know the boundless love of God and to respond to Him.
Jesus is on that same mission today. “I did not come to call the [self-proclaimed] righteous [who see no need to repent], but sinners to repentance [to change their old way of thinking, to turn from sin and to seek God and His righteousness]” (Luke 5:32 Amp).
No sin is too great for Jesus not to forgive. We are told that if we confess our sins before God, Jesus will forgive us of all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9). Forgiveness means that “as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us” (Psa. 103:12 NIV). After we have confessed our sins, they will never be brought up again by God. They are finished. "Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool" (Isa. 1:18 NIV).
We all sin but we have this assurance that we are totally and irrevocably forgiven when we confess our sins. We will then become “(those) who have come out of the great tribulation; (who) have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb” (Rev. 7:14 NIV). Hallelujah!