The Lord’s Day, March 11, 2018
Read Matthew 6:12
“And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.”
There is often nothing I want more than to be forgiven and for whatever happened to be forgotten. But forgiveness requires asking to be forgiven. This is hard because it requires owning our debt (or offense) to another and speaking aloud the offense for which we wish to be forgiven. That’s tough for me. What can be even more difficult is to forgive the offender, especially when we have been hurt and feel betrayed by them.
I believe our resistance to forgiveness, both seeking and offering it, is often less about forgiveness than it is the desire to keep another distant from our hearts so that we will not hurt again. We all love forgiveness, because it a healing balm. It’s rather the fear of the pain, the potential rejection, the wound open again, or the hurtful word that keeps us holding a deadly debt.
Jesus went to the cross for a people of whom he said, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” He went to the cross, a place of death, to forgive a people who did not even own their hurtful betrayal. At the time they were too ignorant to understand it. They couldn’t fathom who he was, what he offered them, or the death that awaited them if he did not die for their debt.
Amazingly, Jesus forgave our debts before we were even aware they existed. It killed him to do it, but in His forgiving death, we received eternal life. May we know the glory of forgiving our debtors, though sometimes forgiveness kills us.
Our Father, forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. AMEN.