In many ways, social media is a fantastic tool. Just this past week I had photos pop back up on my Facebook feed that enabled me to travel back in time to only a few years ago and relive my son’s newborn days. It was a fantastic surprise, and social media is such a useful way to preserve precious memories online, rather than in clunky photo albums. The downside of this, however, is that what you put online rarely disappears – it is usually there forever. This can be a real problem, particularly for young people who make their most vulnerable and formative years public for the world to see. They now face a situation where, no matter who they have become, they can still be judged for something they said or did a decade ago. I know employers who will make sure they check a person’s Facebook profile or Instagram feed to shuffle through their history and discover what they can about a potential candidate. This search can unearth hastily typed comments, ill thought through worldviews and arguments that a person would never dream of making today. In a world where nothing can be forgotten, it begs the question of whether forgiveness can ever truly be found.
But this problem of never forgetting is hardly a new problem for humanity. Christians everywhere confess that our God is timeless and knows everything. This poses a challenge for everyone who ever lived. It has always been the case that God never forgets. Our sins, committed in a moment and then forgotten by us, scar the universe forever and remain eternal in the sight of an all-seeing, timeless God. God doesn’t experience sin as we do, and so it is more of a wonder that we even exist at all anymore. But this is an incredible reality that we profess; God is infinitely better at forgiveness than we are. As human beings, we can drag each other over the coals for rash words typed in the heat of the moment half a decade ago. As fellow brothers and sisters, we can salivate at the opportunity to ‘cancel’ the latest outed sinner, pushing for them to lose their job, their family, and even their life. But God instead chooses to lose His life for us. God sees all, knows all, and chooses to die for all. And anyone brave enough to admit their sin and ask for forgiveness finds it through Jesus’ death on the cross. There is forgiveness in this world, but you won’t find it in humanity, you can only find it through Jesus.