April 15, 2013
This is the last blog in the Forgiven and Free series, and it is the logical result leading from the other five. If you understand that God has forgiven your sins through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on Calvary’s cross, then you will have no trouble with fulfilling Luke 11:4:
And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us.
Do you realize the price Jesus paid so the Father could “…forgive us our sins…”? I don’t – fully! And I won’t until I see my Lord face to face. It is as Paul writes in I Corinthians 13:9 & 12 (NIV):
For we know in part…. Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we
shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am
I just don’t have the capacity this side of heaven to fully comprehend all our Lord went through to purchase my salvation! But I do know some things:
• He was crucified – Crucifixion is perhaps the most painful and horrible death man has ever conceived and inflicted upon his fellow man. It will shake you – but perhaps profitably – if you study Crucifixion in depth.
• He went to the cross voluntarily – He said in John 10:17 & 18 (NKJV) – “Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life, that I may take it again. No man takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command have I received from my Father.”
• He suffered physically – Jesus greatly suffered physically, not just from crucifixion, but from mistreatment after His arrest, being beaten, scourged, and generally abused.
• He suffered mentally and emotionally – He was hounded by Jewish leaders for many months before His arrest. And, according to Luke 13:31, he was also hounded by Herod Antipas. He was betrayed by Judas, one of His own. He was denied three times by Peter, one of His inner circle. He was forsaken by all His disciples upon His arrest. His mental and emotional strain was so great, He sweat blood in the garden!
• He suffered spiritually – Somehow, in the three hours of darkness – the last three hours on the cross, Jesus was separated from the Father and I believe He experienced eternity in hell! It was during that time He cried out, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” (Matthew 27:46 – NKJV). It was then that Jesus was “…made sin for us…” (II Corinthians 5:21). He became the sinner before the Father, bearing all the sins of every human being through all history!
Is there anyone who has suffered greater wrongs than what was done to Jesus? If He could forgive us – and He certainly has! – is there anything done to us that we cannot forgive? Or is there anyone who has wronged us whom we cannot forgive?
You see, this is really a logical argument from the greater to the lesser. If we have been forgiven such atrocities against God – such grievous sins as those that would send the perfect Son of God to such horrible suffering – can we not then forgive others of their lesser sins against us? The only reason to hang on to the wrongs done to us, the only reason we do not forgive others, is that we don’t begin to understand how much God through Jesus’ sacrifice has forgiven us!
Consider the servant in the Lord’s parable in Matthew 18:23-34. I won’t reproduce all the scripture here, but I encourage you to read it in your own Bible. In short, this particular servant owed his master an enormous sum, over nineteen billion dollars by one estimate – if it was figured in talents of gold! He was forgiven all the debt when he said he couldn’t pay. But this servant then went out and found a man who owed him about ten thousand dollars. He would not forgive the man’s debt, and he demanded his incarceration until the debt was paid! The master found out about it and withdrew the cancellation of the servant’s enormous debt, sending him to jail and torture until payment was made in full!
Jesus finished this parable with the statement of Matthew 18:35 – “This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart.” It is much like the truth He taught us to pray in the Lords prayer recorded in Luke 11:2 through 4 – “And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us.” (verse 4).
If we will not forgive others, it puts us in a dangerous position! At best, we do not understand the forgiveness God granted us through His Son’ sacrifice. At worst, we have never received that forgiveness in Jesus, and we will forever pay for our own sins in eternal hell!
Forgiven and Free! Let us apply this to our own standing before God, and apply it to those who sin against us. It will, in both cases, greatly bless our Christian life!