He does it by coming to us, to every soul of man on the earth and offering, first, forgiveness for all the past.  I do not know that, amongst all the bonds by which evil holds a poor soul that struggles to get away from it, there is one more adamantine and unyielding than the consciousness that the past is irrevocable and that “what I have written I have written” can never be blotted out.  But Jesus Christ deals with that consciousness.  It is true that “whatsoever a man soweth that shall he also reap” and the Christian doctrine of forgiveness does not contradict that solemn truth, but it assures us that God’s heart is not turned away from us, notwithstanding the past, and that we can write the future better and break altogether the fatal bond that decrees, apart from Him, that “tomorrow shall be as this day, and much more abundant” and that past sin shall beget a progeny of future sins.  That fruitfulness of sin is at an end if we take Christ for our Savior.Alexander Maclaren (1826-1910), from a meditation on Matthew 12.33.

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