Contemporary Christian recording artists “Casting Crowns” released a song several years ago which asked, “Jesus, Can You show me just how far the east is from the west?” The songwriter expresses great concern that the “man [he’s] been” may be “rising up in [him] again.” He expresses a need for a confirmation from God that his sins have indeed been removed from him. If we think about the east coast versus the west coast of the United States or if we think about the world in general, the eastern hemisphere versus the western hemisphere. This scripture implies great distance. That implication shows us just how far God has removed our sins from us. It’s not as if He moved in right next door. He didn’t take them from us and kept them close to us at the same time. He takes our sins from us and moves them far away from us. He disconnects us from our sins. We are no longer defined by the transgressions of our lives. In that space between the east and the west, He saves us, He justifies us, He sanctifies us. He sends His spirit to us so that between our transgressions and us lies our whole Christian life, This is a very hopeful verse because it lets us know that God does not hold our transgressions against us. He doesn’t keep them nearby so He can pull them out and show them to us to remind us of who we were. He removes them from us and He replaces them with so much more.
And we pray:
Father, I thank you for removing my transgressions. I thank you for removing them so far away from me that I’m not tempted by them and that You don’t keep them nearby so that You can remind me of them at every turn. I thank You that You placed between me and my transgressions Your spirit. That in that space, You have saved me, justified me, sanctified me and I thank You for that space between the east and west. I thank You for removing my sins from my life. Amen.