Atonement thinking from the Internet Monk (Scot McKnight, Jesus Creed)
As I was driving today, the verse heading this post came to my mind. It immediately struck me as yet another clue to the unfathomable love and grace of God toward you and me:
“…love covers a multitude of sins.”
These words were written to suffering followers of Jesus Christ, encouraging them to show deep love for one another. The author reminds them what love does — it covers sins. That is, it overlooks them, it regards them as of no account. Love is generous with others and releases them from expectations of sinless perfection. If you love me, you will not hold my sins against me. You will accept me in spite of my weaknesses, failures, and offenses…
If this is what love is, and if God is love, why then can’t we factor in this same attitude in our thinking about how God views us and deals with us in our sins?
Are humans, who show this kind of love to each other, more gracious and loving than God?
I don’t think I’ve ever heard a Christian preacher or teacher say,
“God loves you, and he overlooks your sins.”
“God won’t let your sins stand between you and him.”
“God values you too much to hold your weaknesses and failures against you.”
“God loves you so much that not even sin can separate you from him.”
Perhaps he is like the father of the Prodigal Son, and not just like a righteous judge upholding the law.
Love covers a multitude of sins.