My friend Steve Jeffery posted a short post on his minister's blog.
So short, it's hard to know which bit to quote.
And yet so wonderful, so true, and so necessary to be chewed over, that I think I'll just quote all of it.
I hope Steve doesn't mind - especially if I link to the original post where I got it from
The Old Testament uses a remarkably wide range of words and images to describe forgiveness. God lifts up our sin from us; God passes over our sin; God allows our sin to pass away; God treads our sin underfoot and tramples it down. God hides our sin, covers our sin, wipes out our sin, and washes away our sin. He doesn't see our sin, doesn't count our sin, and doesn't remember our sin. He hides his face from our sins, casts them behind his back, and flings them into the depths of the sea. All of these images contribute to the richness of the biblical portrait of God's forgiveness.
There's a very good reason why such rich portrayal is necessary: forgiveness is profoundly unnatural for us. We remember sin - both the sins of others and our own sins. We dredge them up time and time again; we gossip about them; we count them against one another and against ourselves. But God is different. The One who knows all things is also very good at forgetting.