What does forgiveness mean?  To forgive is to cancel a debt owed. Financially and morally, forgiveness says, “You no longer owe me.  I am no longer looking for u to pay me back. I freed you from your indebtedness to me.

Forgiveness is one of the “key” words of the Christian faith.  If God had not included forgiveness in His plan for humanity, none of us would enjoy life renewed with Him in heaven.  Without forgiveness there would be no hope at all.  (Daniel 9:9.) To the Lord our God belong mercy and forgiveness, for we have rebelled against HimOur awesome Father in heaven was the creator of forgiveness and so it belongs to Him and He lavishes us with it abundantly every day. God knew from the beginning of time ALL of the sins that would take place.  It is a burden of love that only the Father could carry.

(1 John 1:9) says, If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousnessIt really is that simple.  This is not just a confession, though.  The type of confession described here is a confession of heart-felt shame from what we have done. This remorse goes hand-in-hand with repentance.  When you cry out to God for His forgiveness of your sins, you must not forget about your repentant heart.  Without it, you will fall right back into the same sin.  Repentance means to turn away.

Forgiveness does not just come from God but also from His flock.  (Luke 17:3-4) says, Pay attention to yourselves!  If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him, and if he sins against you seven times in the day, and turns to you seven times, saying, “I repent”, you must forgive him.  This is not always easy.  If repentance is genuine, it must always be forgiven, even if it is the same sin over and over again.  Human nature wants to push us in the direction of giving up on someone who is in perpetual sin because we tend to stop believing in someone who is constantly engaged in sin, but the Bible is clear on this issue.  God NEVER gives up on His children who come in His name to ask for forgiveness, which is why we cannot give up either.

For true forgiveness to take place, one must completely take pride out.  A proud heart will never truly forgive.  (Matthew 6:14-15) says, For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespassesYou absolutely cannot expect to be forgiven if you are too proud to forgive someone else.

The ultimate act of forgiveness is when Christ, Himself, was hanging on that cross, bloody and bruised.  The absolute humiliation that was put on Him is unimaginable.  He had already had His flesh ripped open as He was beaten and then He was mocked with the crown of thorns and a robe.  After the soldiers put the robe on Christ, they mocked Him saying, “Hail, King of the Jews.”(Mark 15:18)  They also spit on Him and struck Him on the head.  He also carried His own cross up to Golgotha as far as He could go.  He was completely drained.  Then the sounds of hammer and nails piercing His hands and feet traveled for those to hear nearby.  The excitement of the crowd as they screamed, “crucify Him,” had to be absolutely gut wrenching to His mother, Mary, as she watched not just her savior, but her own son being tortured and ridiculed.  After all of this had taken place, Jesus called out to the Father saying, “Father, forgive them…”(Luke 23:34).  If there was ever a    moment in history where someone deserved a “free-pass” on forgiveness, it was at the cross. Yet, Christ understood the true meaning of forgiveness.  He was the perfect example for all.  May we all strive to forgive everyone as Christ continually forgives us.

May God Bless you always.

In Love, Rev. Edgardo