A more accurate title would be, pseudo-time travel does exist. It’s called forgiveness. Let me explain.
If you knew you could change the past by performing a simple action, the only catch being that it required a serious leap of faith, would you do it? Let’s frame the question a little differently. What if you knew that by stepping off of the roof of a 20 story building you could somehow erase the fact that you jumped off the roof of a 20 story building – the next thing you’d know, you’re on top of the roof again as if nothing ever happened? That would sure require a giant leap of faith, wouldn’t it? In reality, jumping off of the roof would be fatal. There are laws in the universe that can’t be broken, like the law of gravity. In this case, to jump is to die. Jumping off a tall building does not seem logical to a sane human being. Assuming this story were true, you’d have absolutely no proof that you would, as a certainty, appear in one piece atop the building safe from any harm. If this story were true, it would be possible to travel back in time as if nothing had happened, but time travel doesn’t exist – does it?
Have you thought about what happens when we ask God to forgive our sins? We know the drill – in order to be forgiven, all we must do is ask for God’s forgiveness. But what happens to our sins? Do they magically disappear? Well, let’s revisit the building scenario for a moment – once you’ve jumped, you’ve jumped. Something mysterious apparently happens after you leap that lands you back on top of the building – but the fact remains that you did jump. Nothing could ever change the fact that you did jump. Even if you had Alzheimer’s, even if you forgot that you sinned, even if the world imploded in upon itself – you still jumped.
What if you knew that by asking for forgiveness you could somehow erase the fact that you ever sinned in the first place as if you landed back in time before you ever broke any laws to begin with. To me, and I think to a lot of people, that takes quite a leap of faith. Just like the laws of gravity, God’s Law cannot be broken. Just as jumping off of a 20 story building will end in death, so will a sinner wind up dead – it just takes a little longer. Really, if you were to look for proof that forgiveness is a reality, it could be hard to find. We must trust in faith that God did come to this planet and that the plan of salvation has been set in motion.
When we ask God to forgive our sins, nothing will actually change the fact that we did sin, causing Jesus to descend from Heaven to die a terrible death to rescue us – but – when we ask God to forgive us, He does make it as if nothing ever happened. But it’s not a quick procedure. Jesus, our intercessor, pleads our case before the righteous God of the universe. Each and every sin is a big deal, something that has to be dealt with in reality – it does not simply disappear. There is an actual process for forgiving sins. The ancient Isrealites knew this well since their sins were transferred to an innocent animal that had nothing to do with the evil they brought upon it. They saw first hand that sinning had consequences in the real world because it brought about death.
Jumping from a tall building = death. Sin = death. Time travel does exist in the fact that God will wipe our slate clean, as if we had been transported to the point before we had ever sinned in the first place. But remember, a ride in the time machine is not free.
(Just so you know, this post was originally posted on my old MAUC blog… I’ve deleted that original post, so this is now it’s official home!)