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Friday, July 28, 2017

Think About It

by Pastor B.J. Knefley

What does forgiveness mean? Does it mean just to have compassion or mercy for another person or is it something deeper? To forgive another person is to pardon their offense. It is an act of letting the offended one go free. That doesn’t mean the offender is free of the consequence of their actions, nor does it mean that their prior position is restored.

While reviewing the idea of forgiveness I stumbled upon and interesting event. In Luke 23:34 we read, “Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.” And the soldiers gambled for his clothes by throwing dice.” Note that Jesus is asking his Father to forgive those who were crucifying him. Why would he do that? Weren’t these the same people that unmercifully abused, mocked and tortured him? Would you or I do that or would we want justice?

Here’s the other thing that I noticed. Jesus was seeking forgiveness for his executioners while they were oblivious to their actions. Note that while he was asking his Father to forgive them, they were gambling for his clothes. What I realized is that forgiveness extended doesn’t mean forgiveness received, but that didn’t stop Jesus from seeking it for his executioners.

What I learn from this is that if we’re to forgive others as God the Father has forgiven us then we need to do it just like He did. That means that I need to extend forgiveness towards others even if they are oblivious to their need to be forgiven. Remember that according to the Gospel writer Paul, “But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.” (Romans 5:8).

Ultimately we can be in a position of being forgiven while never having it received. Why? Isn’t it because we have chosen not to? Remember those that we’re behind the execution/crucifixion of Jesus Christ felt that they were justified in what they were doing. As long as you feel justified you will never understand your need for forgiveness. Think about it.

1 comment :

Louise said...

"Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us." Must be important for God to put it in the Lord's prayer.