“The soul who sins shall die”
This phrase dominates Ezekiel chapter 18. And it is true, a sinner cannot stand before God and live. But, that’s not the point of the passage. The point of the passage is to say that no one pays for the sins of another, specifically, the father does not pay for the sins of the son, nor the son for the father.
But, the message that rings through is this: No matter who sins, and no matter what they have done, if they turn from their sins, they will be forgiven:
“But if a wicked person turns away from all his sins that he has committed and keeps all my statutes and does what is just and right, he shall surely live; he shall not die. None of the transgressions that he has committed shall be remembered against him; for the righteousness that he has done he shall live. Have I any pleasure in the death of the wicked, declares the Lord God, and not rather that he should turn from his way and live?
God does not take pleasure in sinning souls dying. It grieves Him deeply and it should grieve us as well. We should grieve for our own sins, remembering that we have done so much to deserve death. And we should grieve for the sins of the lost, who are slowly dying under the weight of God’s wrath. But that grief should lead us to action. It should lead us to repentance. It should lead us to turn from our sin and trust in the Lord for our salvation.
When we turn to Jesus, none of our transgressions will be remembered.
Think about that.
None. Not a single one. No small secret sin. No big flagrant sin. Nothing in our lives that goes against God’s laws will be remembered against us if we trust in the only One who ever truly obeyed God with heart, soul, mind, and strength. Yesterday’s sins have been cast away and tomorrows sins will never reach the log books.
We have been cleared!
God’s grace is like that.