The cost of forgiveness?
According to the Bible all sin must be atoned for, the price must be paid. Neither you nor I are able to pay that price, it would take a person without sin. We are incapable of obtaining our own forgiveness. God has a perfect law in place, and if it is not followed then there is sin. We all know that we have sinned, we are guilty as charged. You may say, “my sins are minor compared to his/hers.” While this may be true from your vantage point it is not true from God’s vantage point. Sin is sin, there is no such thing as minor sin. God doesn’t grade on a curve, it is simply pass or fail. We are sinful creatures we miss the mark, we have all fail miserably. The law requires the price to be paid, and the price is death.
“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” Romans 3:23
Sin and it’s price….
Take a moment and think about your sins, don’t wallow in them, think on them acknowledge the pain they have caused you and others, how heavy was your sin, a burden that you, of your own ability are unable to put down. Just the sin of one person, and I’m guessing you’re not the worst of humanity.
Now think for a moment of Christ on the cross, with the sin of everyone who had, has, and every would live. The weight of every little lie, every bit of hatred, strife, envy, bitterness, and anger, all the pride, every murder, every conflict, all of it on his whipped and bleeding back as He hung on the cross. Yes, even the big ones, Hitler, Charles Manson, etc… the list is too long the sin, the pain so great. We can’t even imagine the suffering Christ Jesus endured as God turned his face away for that moment, when all the sin of the world lay on Christ’s shoulders. We could never endure what Christ Jesus, our loving Savior, endured on that cross. I believe having God, His Heavenly Father, turn away was the most painful. It wasn’t the pain of death or the weight of all the sin of humanity, it was the separation from God that caused Jesus to ask, “Take this cup from me” and yet He gave Himself up and endured it for me and for you, the most amazing act of love.
God’s Amazing Grace
In His mercy and grace, God sent His Only Son to be the perfect Lamb to pay the price for our sins.
God is just and His just law required that the cost of our sin be paid, but we were unable to pay the price because we had been stained by sin. Christ paid the price for our sins, what we could never do, He did for us.
Jesus Christ suffered, was put to death and rose on the third day, so that you, me, and every single sinner/human could have the free gift of God’s grace, the forgiveness of sin- to be washed clean, made pure and to stand righteous in the eyes of God. -Do you realize that the moment you believed in Jesus, and accepted Him as Lord you stand before God perfect? God sees you as He sees His Son, righteous, pure, you are as He created you, before sin tainted you. – You might want to reread the last two sentences and let it soak in a bit.
“For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” 2 Corinthians 5:21
“For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.” Romans 5:19
Your Part, 3 Steps….
Forgiveness may be a free gift to you. Although, don’t ever think that it came without a cost, never forget that your redeemer Jesus Christ paid the price for your sins so that you could have that free gift. Your part is simple, 1. Believe that Jesus is the Son of God and the Savior of the world. 2. Confess and repent, acknowledge your sin and be remorseful to the point of hating your sin. 3. This is a “free gift” offered to you by Christ, accept it. I know this one is hard, please don’t get hung up on it. If you think you may be having trouble accepting His free gift (without owing a debt) pray about it, ask God to give you a correct view of forgiveness and His love for you. You are a child of God!
“But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believed on his name: Which were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” John 1:12-13
“And be ye kind one to another tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” Ephesians 4:32
What is your Cost?
Offering forgiveness back to other human beings that have hurt you; this may feel costly at the time, it may be a difficult gift to offer. It will probably hurt. I’ll warn you, don’t look for healing in those who have hurt you, look only to God for healing, and offer forgiveness as a free gift. You have freely received and you can now freely give. Try to remember that while you have been hurt by the sin of others there are others that have been hurt by your sins. It is possible that some of which you are still blind to. All you can do is offer the gift of forgiveness and let God do the work of healing. Expecting anything in return is looking for healing in people, when only God can heal us. We need to offer apologies where necessary, and sometimes, just where it is needed for the healing of others. Can we willingly, be open, and let God into these difficult situations to see what he can do? This process may feel like going through a battle, trust the Lord and lean on Him.
“Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them: for they know not what they do…” Luke 23:34
Our Call to Forgive
Hanging from the cross, Jesus made a request; that those who beat, mocked, laughed at, and killed Him, be forgiven. Why? because Jesus could see that they did not understand the implication of their actions, they were blind. This world is corrupt and it blinds us to the truth. We need to understand that the people who hurt us can’t always see. Even as Christians we can be blind to our own sin, and how we may have hurt someone else. Although, you should reconcile where you can, even were you can’t, you can still forgive. Even unforgiveness can be forgiven. Jesus understands and He knows your hurt He also knows how to heal the hurt. On your part, the cost of forgiveness can feel like a lot, know that in the end it is healing and love. I have often heard that holding a grudge – or unforgiveness- is like taking poison and expecting the other person to die. Oh, how true this is, you are only hurting yourself. My experience is that when you forgive it feels like an anvil has been lifted off of your chest, it is an incredible feeling. Please read more about my early experience with forgiveness and how I learned this truth in my testimony.
Forgiveness brings healing. When you are trusting in God, He will grow abundance out of the healing. There is never a guarantee, that the other person will respond as you hope, God has given all free will. Don’t go into any situation expecting anything, just pray, and do what you feel God is leading, and then let Him do the work. God is faithful, and He often does amazing things that you would have never even imagined. Follow His leading, Trust and obey!
“Above all, maintain an intense love for each other, since love covers a multitude of sins.” 1 Peter 4:8 HCSB
Now, while the cost of receiving forgiveness is only faith in Jesus, we have been lavishly loved and graciously forgiven. Therefore, may we love and forgive as we have been loved and forgiven!