Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Psalm 32:1
Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, or “lifted up”; bore and carried away: sin is a transgression of the law; the guilt of it charged upon the conscience of a sinner is a heavy burden, too heavy for him to bear, and the punishment of it is intolerable: forgiveness is a removal of sin, guilt, and punishment. Sin was first taken off, and transferred from the sinner to Christ, the surety; and who laid upon him really and judicially, as the sins of the people of Israel were put upon the scapegoat typically; and was bore by him, both guilt and punishment, and taken away, finished, and made an end of; and by the application of his blood and sacrifice it is taken away from the sinner’s conscience; it is caused to pass from him, and is removed afar off, as far as the east is from the west; it is so lifted off from him as to give him ease and peace, and so as never to return to the destruction of him; wherefore such a man is a happy man; he has much peace, comfort, calmness, and serenity of mind now can appear before God with intrepidity, and serve him without fear; no bill of indictment can hereafter be found against him; no charge will be exhibited, and so no condemnation to him.
The same is expressed, though in different words, in the next clause; whose sin is covered; not by himself, by any works of righteousness done by him; for these are a covering too narrow; nor by excuses and extenuations; for prosperity and happiness do not attend such a conduct, Proverbs 28:13; but by Christ; he is the mercy seat, the covering of the law; who is the covert of his people from the curses of it, and from the storm of divine wrath and vengeance, due to the transgressions of it; his blood is the purple covering of the chariot, under which the saints ride safe to heaven; the lines of his blood are drawn over crimson and scarlet sins, by which they are blotted out, and are not legible; and being clothed with the robe of Christ’s righteousness, all their sins are covered from the eye of divine Justice; not from the eye of God’s omniscience, which sees the sins of all men, and beholds those of his own people; and which he takes notice of, and corrects for, in a fatherly way; but from vindictive justice, they are so hid as not to be imputed and charged, nor the saints to be condemned for them; such are unblameable and unreproveable in the sight of God, and are all fair in the eyes of Christ; and their sins are caused to pass away from themselves, and they have no more sight and conscience of them; and though sought for at the last day, they will not be found and brought to light, nor be seen by men or angels. There is something unseemly, impure, nauseous, abominable, and provoking in sin; which will not bear to be seen by the Lord, and therefore must be covered, or the sinner can never stand in his presence and be happy.
John Gill (1697 – 1771)