I was reading Psalm 25 this evening. It’s the Psalm the LCMS has chosen to be used on Pentecost this year. Verse 7 caught my attention, “Remember not the sins of my youth or my transgressions; according to your steadfast love remember me, for the sake of your goodness.”
While pondering that verse, I checked into Facebook and found the following posted by a relative of my wife. “Sometimes I really wish I could go back in time and fix whatever mistakes I’ve made that hurt another.” I referred her to the psalm verse quoted above.
The psalmist is asking God to act toward him according to his and never -ending-love which has characterized God for ancient times. On the other hand, he asks God to not act upon (remember) his youthful sins and transgressions. Rather, based on his steadfast love he wants God to remember “me” as a person, not only as a sinner and law breaker.
We all find that things we did in our younger days can rise up to haunt us and accuse us. Almost invariably there is nothing we can do about those past misdeeds or misspoken words. However, acting not on our sins, but out of the love which led Jesus to bear the sins of our youth and old age, god would, through His Holy Spirit teach us to walk in his paths and his ways.
The psalmist asks in v. 11, “for your name’s sake, O Lord pardon my guilt, for it is great.” Sometimes our guilt even outweighs the wrong we might have done. Therefore in v. 18 the psalmist asks God to consider how his guilt afflicts him and how he is troubled and turn to him with forgiveness of all his sins.
We find ourselves on the cross beside Jesus pleading, “Jesus, remember me which you come into your kingdom.” Jesus says: “Today you will be with me in Paradise.”