April 29, 2014 • By Ed Wrather
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. - Romans 6:23.
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. - 1 John 1:9.
Atari made a costly mistake back in 1982, which resulted in a $75 million dollar loss and the downfall of the gaming industry. ET was a hit movie, and to try to cash in on the favorability of the movie Atari rushed into production the ET video game. Wikipedia quotes author Steven Kent as saying the game was “infamous with primitive graphics, dull game play and a disappointing storyline.” Wikipedia also cited an editor for The Miami Herald as saying the game was difficult to learn to play. The Atari ET game crashed and burned! The game was originally put on the market with a price of $49.95, but was discounted so many times it was finally selling for less than a dollar. What did Atari do? Atari literally buried their mistake at an Alamogordo, New Mexico trash landfill. Rumors had circulated about the burial for years and recently they were proven true when an excavation found 782,000 game cartridges buried in the landfill. (Orange News 04.29.14; Wikipedia)
Atari is not alone in the making of mistakes. Here are a few of the more famous or notorious historical mistakes: The leaning tower of Pisa took 177 years to build and was not meant to lean. It was built on unstable ground with a foundation of only three feet, and the result was that less than a decade after construction was finished the tower began to lean. Then there was the “unsinkable” RMS Titanic which did sink due to design flaws and with a huge loss of life because of the inadequate number of lifeboats. In 1961, Decca Records auditioned a group, but decided they wouldn’t be marketable. Not long after the turndown by Decca, the Beatles signed with EMI. Albert Einstein’s teachers thought that he was a really bad student. Western Union in 1876 turned down Alexander Graham Bell’s telephone saying, “This telephone has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication.”
Have you ever made a mistake that you wish you could bury? Have you ever made a mistake that you are so ashamed of that you never mention it? I have made some mistakes that are that bad. Actually, these mistakes are not just mistakes, they are sins I have committed. I am not proud of these moral failures. I don’t want to talk about them; I don’t want to even think about them, and I try not to. I just want to bury those sins.
The spiritual reality is that God doesn’t want to think about your sins. He doesn’t want to see your sins, and He doesn’t want to remember your sins. What does God want to do with your sins? He wants to bury them! Micah 7:19 tells us where God wants to bury your sins, “You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea.” This has often been called God’s Sea of Forgetfulness. Then God says in Hebrews 10:17 (Also Isaiah 43:25), “Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.”
What must happen before God buries our sins? 1 John 1:9 tells us, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Confession as used in 1 John 1:9 involves more than just saying what we did or didn’t do. According to W. A. Criswell, “The idea of confession is to view sin as God views it and to identify with His judgment against sin.” In other words, we agree with God that what we have done or not done was a sin, that it was bad, and we repent of it, turn from it, we want to change from doing what we have sinfully done or not done in the past. God can forgive our sins because the penalty of those sins has already been paid by Jesus on the cross. We just need to receive the “gift” of forgiveness that God freely offers.