What does God do when he forgives our sins? In other words, what does he do with our sins?
He Removes Our Sins from Us
He actually took them away from us and placed them on Jesus. Paul described it this way in 2 Corinthians 5:21: “God made him who knew no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”
In this sense, forgiveness is like a divorce. We were connected to our sins–married to them, if you will. That’s not a good relationship. In forgiveness, God severs the tie and frees us to be joined to him.
He Sends Our Sins Away
God removes our sins from us, and then he sends them away. Where are your sins right now? According to the Word of God, “He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west” (Psalm 103:12 NLT).
The law provides a beautiful picture of this truth. On the Day of Atonement, the priest would take two male goats and cast lots to determine which goat to sacrifice and which goat to use as the scapegoat. The blood of the goat he slaughtered would be sprinkled on the mercy seat. He then presented the live goat, ceremoniously transfer the sins of the people to the goat’s head, and then the goat was sent away into the wilderness. The scapegoat carried away the sins of the people. The scapegoat was symbolic of the real forgiveness we receive in Christ.
Through the shed blood of God’s own Son, he sent your sins away forever.
He Remembers Our Sins No More
Jesus died once. His blood cleansed our conscience “from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God” (Hebrews 9:14). His sacrifice did away with sin permanently (Hebrews 9:26). He carried out the will of his Father. He finished his work.
In Jesus’s selfless act, God condemned sin. He judged it and punished it by pouring out his wrath on Jesus. The Lamb of God died in my place and in your place.