There is no statute of limitations for sin
“For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His steadfast love toward those who fear Him. As far as the east is from the west, so far does He remove our transgressions from us.”
Psalm 103:11-12 (ESV)
In the American legal system there is a concept called the statute of limitations. The statute of limitations is the amount of time between the commission of a crime and the time where you can no longer be arrested for the crime. For some crimes, the limitation is rather short. However, for some, like murder, there is no statute of limitations. Even if you committed the crime when you were 12 years old and you are on your deathbed at 90, you are still culpable in the eyes of the law. This is how God treats our sin. There is no statute of limitations of our sin. We will bear the penalty for our sin no matter how long ago it was. This is some pretty bad news for many.
However, for those of us who are saved, the verses above should be the greatest news we could ever imagine. Verse 11 demonstrates that God loves us more than anything else in this world. We are His children. In fact, He demonstrated His love for us that while we were still able to be tried and convicted for our sins, He came and took the penalty for us at Calvary. He gave us a way to be counted as just in God’s eyes instead of being counted as guilty. This is amazing in itself, but the passage doesn’t stop there. He not only loves us beyond comprehension, He removes our sin so far away from us that it is as far as the east is from the west. This is an odd thing to say, but it has a purpose. Imagine a globe for a second. North is up and south is down. West is to the left and east is to the right. If you go north, eventually you come to the pole and begin going south. You would then come to the south pole and start going back north. The north and south meet at each pole. However, turn the globe as if you were heading West. You will never reach a point where west ends and east begins. You keep going and going. The same goes for east. They never meet. How amazing is that! God casts our sins so far away, they will never be counted towards you. They keep moving further and further away from you and will never be counted to your account. Your sins are gone. They are as far from you as the east is from the west. Your guilt is gone. Your punishment was taken. You’re counted as righteous. In fact, you are adopted into the family of God!
So this week, give God praise and take comfort in knowing that when you mess up, God has already forgiven you and has cast your sin as far as the east is from the west.