There are times when every honest sinner seems to have a difficult time fully grasping the profound reality of a full, complete, entire, absolute, itemized, exhaustive, perfect, whole, extensive, utter, particularized, unabridged, comprehensive, all-inclusive, outright, sheer, pure forgiveness.
"But you don't know what I've done!"
I sometimes respond, "Well... you don't know what I've done either!"
But look at Acts 3.14 & 15. The people addressed there did this:
"You denied the Holy and Righteous One, and asked for a murderer to be granted to you, and you killed the Author of life."
And yet, they are told this:
"Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send the Christ appointed for you, Jesus, whom heaven must receive until the time for restoring all the things about which God spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets long ago."
And do you know who told them this?...
The same Peter who, just a few weeks before, denied Jesus three times in one night.
And yet, he was forgiven. By Jesus.
Forgiven, restored, consoled, made new. (See John 21.15-29.)
In the Acts 3 passage quoted above Peter—himself a product of Jesus' grace—is now offering Jesus' grace to people just like him.
That's exactly what the church is called to do, in Jesus' name.
"Repent... turn back... that your sins may be blotted out... that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord."
This is the unspeakable beauty of the kingdom of God, offered by the King Who Forgives... even though he bears the scars of our sins forever.
And precisely because he bears the scars of our sins forever.