Why we Forgive so Freely
Luke 23:34But Jesus was saying, "Father, FORGIVE them; for they do not know what they are doing." And they cast lots, dividing up His garments among themselves.
The great Cross-cry: “FATHER, FORGIVE THEM!” This is yet another example of the mystifying love of a Saviour who sucked in His dying breath, to breath out a blessing on the cursed! That is beyond confounding!
But this FORGIVENESS is not a random comforter/duvet tossed over the bed of iniquity, to ensure that we don’t have any “prickly” bits. No, no. In fact, the full effect of this FORGIVENESS correlates directly with the degree that we are, indeed, “pricked” in our hearts to REPENT: Acts 2:37 tells us, “Now when they heard this, they were PRICKED in their heart, and said to Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? 38 Peter replied, "REPENT and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the FORGIVENESS of your sins. And you will receive the GIFT of the Holy Spirit.”
Luke 24 says, “Christ would suffer and rise again from the dead the third day, 47 and that REPENTANCE FOR FORGIVENESS OF SINS would be proclaimed in His name to all the nations.” (46-47) Repentance and Forgiveness are bedfellows – two sides of the same coin – you can’t have one without the other. But, sadly, many believers flip a coin (“cast lots”) with “heads you win, tails you lose”, and they live in a type of “forgiveness”, without any fruits of repentance (Matthew 3:8 “Bear fruit in keeping with repentance.”)
Forgiveness is not the grace “cookie jar” that we dip into whenever our hand has been caught in the proverbial. Forgiveness is a heavenly resource, distilled in the blood of Jesus, at excruciating cost, and should be appreciated for what it is – a priceless GIFT! We can’t be flip with the sacred. This blood was expensive! Hebrews 9:22 says, “… without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.” When we receive forgiveness in this way, then forgiveness becomes the grace-impulse of our own forgiven soul, and then we are able to say, like Christ, “Father forgive them, because they don’t know what they are doing”, which essentially describes the human-condition – we simply don’t know what we are doing!
Lord Jesus, thank you for the eternal ring of your grace in the cross-cry of forgiveness. I pray that my heart would never be calloused with familiarity towards your exquisite, blood-wrought mercy, and that, as I have received forgiveness, so I would freely give it. Amen
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