I can’t speak for everyone, but personally I have rarely felt so horrible in my life as when I realize I’ve hurt, offended, or angered someone unintentionally by something I said or did. I have a habit of acting in a moment without thinking through the consequences of my choice. Sometimes, by the grace of God, this works out well for all involved. But there are times when I find out after the fact that this caused a major dilemma, distress, or inconvenience for someone else. Why? Well, usually because I crossed a boundary I had no place going over. In a sense, I have now “transgressed” against them.
Webster’s Dictionary defines “transgression” as “an act that goes against a law, rule, or code of conduct; an offense.” Another term for this is a “trespass.” While I’ve never broken a law of the land, sometimes my actions unintentionally break someone’s personal rules or go against the code by which our relationship ought to be conducted.
More than anyone else, I know I’ve done this to God. We all have.
Way back in the day, when sacrifices were required of the Israelites, did you know there were different sacrifices as penance for intentional versus unintentional sin? One was given in penance for a willful act; the other covered a multitude of trespasses against God which one might’ve done and not been aware of. The beautiful thing is that the blood of Christ covered all our transgressions—our trespasses, the places where we’ve unknowingly crossed the boundary and entered into sin.
When the eyes of our understanding are opened and we become aware of all the sin we are capable of, sometimes life starts to feel like a minefield. Everywhere we step, there’s another explosion of bad behavior waiting to go off! At times it’s difficult to know how badly we’ve fallen short in ways we don’t even know about. My dad taught me a great prayer that my husband and I now pray together every night: “God, forgive us for any way we have sinned against You, Your Son, or Your people today.”
Even when we are on our absolute best behavior, offenses will happen, both against our fellow humans and against our Creator. But what a blessing it is to know that there was not one sacrifice for our intentional sin and another for those offenses we weren’t aware of.
The blood of Christ paid it all. And why? According to the riches of God’s grace, by His own wisdom. What else can we be but thankful for all that He and Jesus Christ have done for us—that they even forgive us for the sins we don’t know to repent of!
We are so very, very loved.