Updated: Feb 18
Luke 23:34 (NKJV)
34 Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.”
And they divided His garments and cast lots.
This is the hardest thing for all of us. It is hard enough to find forgiveness in my heart for people who are remorseful, but what about those who show no remorse? Where do I get forgiveness for that? The scriptures are clear about forgiveness, but I am human.
We are onto the second teaching in the series on Grace. Forgiveness is vital to the health our souls. We put a whole lot of demands on mankind that we need to make on heaven. The things that happen to us at the hands of others is totally rooted in the brokenness of the individual. Who can make atonement for what has already been atoned for? What invoice can I send for a debt that has already been paid? It does not excuse the behavior, but we get to see the redemptive power of Jesus Christ. Jesus is able to reclaim the pieces of our hearts and put them back together again. Now as good as that sounds it certainly is easier said than done. Grace, it empowers us to do what we cannot do for ourselves. Salvation was not for the forgiveness of MY sins against God only- but also for the sins committed against me all 70x7 of them.
I marvel at what Jesus said on the cross, he did not say that after 25 years, a therapist, prayer groups, self help books, anointing oil, and you know the rest. He said it while it was happening! The ridiculous amount of pain he was in , the shame , he was innocent - I just cannot imagine how forgiveness was on His mind. Where was his focus? Certainly not on what was being done to Him, but hello- Jesus was divine as well as human. I am just little ole' me over here just as human as human can be. I am usually praying that I don't flip the bird at the person who just cut me off in traffic- can I just be honest? I am flesh and blood weak and sensitive, so you want me to forgive without a sorry? Hmmm that is a tough one Lord.
Jesus had his eyes fixed up above on God's purpose for the pain he was enduring and drew from a divine resource of strength. He was in between humanity and divinity, and in his flesh he knew to go to the Father for whatever he needed. He had divine connection to the throne of grace! He was our example of what to do and how to live in this world that would not receive us. We can go to the Father for anything that we need especially grace to deal with the hurtful behavior of others. Jesus acknowledged their ignorance and asked God to forgive them. I suppose we could begin there, when we are wronged we can try asking God in the moment to forgive their ignorance. Some hurts are allowed by God as part of our journey, for a deeper revelation of God's glory (character). Some hurts are part of the enemy's plan to try to destroy God's purpose in us. People, please know that the enemy is not after you, or anybody that looks like you. He is after the purpose of God in you! No purpose- no glory and he has been after the glory of God for years see Isaiah 14:12-21.
Some of us have people who have wronged us and left with no sorry, some that died without saying sorry- or even acknowledging what they did. There are those who live with someone who hurts them every single day- yet the Lord requires us to forgive. How Lord? How do I look beyond this pain and hurt and see you? GRACE - AMAZING GRACE that's how!
Hebrews 4:16 NKJV
16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
I believe what Jesus saw when he was on the cross was not the excruciating pain of adversity or the terrible sins that were being committed against him. I believe he was able to see the throne of God to seek the hand of God for divine grace to make it through and complete his mission. That same grace is available for all who desire it and it applies to all situations. The mercy of it all is when the grace of God lifts the weight of the burden off of you and carries it for you.
What if the person is dead? How can I forgive them?
Forgiveness is not only for the transgressor - it is for you to be freed from the weight of someone else's sin. There is no part of your past that is not redeemable through Christ and the blood shed on Calvary. God was there before time began he put the limit on time. He is the beginning and the end, therefore cannot be governed by time. God is present in your past and He can heal the memories and your broken heart.
2 Peter 3:8 (ESV)
8 But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
The truth Jesus is all the sorry that you require to free your heart. Ask him for grace today - even if it is the grace to WANT TO. I often pray the "want - to want to prayer" Lord I really don't want to, but help me to want to. The grace of God is there to empower us in our efforts to obey. Is it easy nope- if it were we would not need grace. We have access to the throne of grace, Jesus built that bridge over 2,000 years ago. Will you cross over it today leave offense and unforgiveness behind and experience the miracle of God's grace?
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