Let the wicked forsake their ways and the unrighteous their thoughts. Let them turn to the Lord, and he will have mercy on them, and to our God, for he will freely pardon.
Isaiah 55:7 (NIV)
Someone asked a Canadian government website the question “Can I enter Canada if I have received a pardon for my crime?” The government responded by saying “It depends. If you received a Canadian record suspension or pardon (as it was formerly called), you are no longer inadmissible because of that conviction and can likely enter Canada. If you received a pardon or discharge from another country, you will need to check with the Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada office closest to you.
I can’t imagine what it must be like for someone found guilty of a crime to be pardoned. In an instant their life is transformed, and the title of criminal is removed. Life goes from being one of prohibition to one of complete freedom. In a spiritual sense, this is what Jesus has done for us. The prophet looked forward to that day, and wrote in Isaiah 55:7: “Let the wicked forsake their ways and the unrighteous their thoughts. Let them turn to the Lord, and he will have mercy on them, and to our God, for he will freely pardon.” Because of Jesus’ death and resurrection, God pardons all who repent of their sins and put their faith in Jesus Christ. In an instant we are set free from our guilt and shame and are set free to live a life of victory. God loves you too much to want you to stay imprisoned in your sin. When we trust Christ, God declares us pardoned, and we walk away a free man or woman. Don’t stay a moment longer in the prison of your sinfulness. In Jesus, hear the Father declare “pardoned” and start your life of spiritual liberty.
These have been words from the heart.