The Lord’s Prayer Part 9 – For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly father will also forgive you.

by | Nov 27, 2020 | 0 comments

Forgiving others is easier the less connected to us personally, I find it easy to forgive people in general but it’s harder the more it impacts me. It was much easier forgiving people before I got married, I find it much harder now I have two daughters. I am naturally a sulkier and sometimes I just want to enjoy sulking. However if we hold on to things and not offer forgiveness quickly it eats away at us. It’s like something out of Star wars, unforgiveness leads to hate and hate leads to the dark side.  We all love self, and when self is wounded we want to lick our wounds. We need to learn from Esla to ‘Let it go’[1] and to let it go quickly, for it is love that will melt a frozen heart.

You’ve probably heard people say, ‘I’ll forgive but I’ll never forget.’ You know they’re lying to us and probably to themselves, you can hear the bitterness in their voice as they say it. I’ve seen it on the news several times, but every so often you’ll see it on the news in the opposition direction. Anthony Walker was a young black Christian man and he was murdered in Liverpool because he was dating a white girl. His mum was on the news and the first thing she did was offer her forgiveness to the killer as she appealed for him to give himself up. When we offer forgiveness to those who offend us, we are the most like our heavenly Father for that is what He does.

In Mel Gibson’s ‘The Passion of the Christ’ we see one hand, supposedly the hand of the centurion nailing Christ to the cross. In fact it’s the hand of Mel Gibson. When asked why he said something like, I am responsible for the death of Christ. Not often I’d agree theologically with Mel Gibson but that’s it exactly right, we’re all responsible for nailing him to the cross with our sin. Yet we experience sonship from this loving Father, though we’re responsible for the death of his Beloved Son. That’s true of us who weren’t born at that time in some sense. It’s true of the real Centurion in a more profound way, he was responsible for carrying out the event in history and yet he too experienced the forgiveness of God on that day.

That is what Christ does, the sinless Son, dying at the hands of wicked men, who know they have killed the LORD of Glory cries out from the Cross, Father Forgive them for they know not what they do.  He personally felt the weight of that in the Garden with those drops of blood dripping out of his sweat glands, the cost of this separation from the Father: A high price for our forgiveness.

If we want to please our heavenly Father, to be more like Him, we also need to be people who are quick to forgive. It’s not an easy thing to do. There is always a cost. I remember being ripped off by a close family member, he called me to ask forgiveness and I forgave him straight away. I was glad that he said he called me first as he knew I would forgive him. There’s a cost to forgive someone, but you have to be prepared to take the hit, it’s what love does.  Not to forgive is also costly, as I said above it eats away at us, destroying us from inside. The alternative to not forgiving isn’t forgiving, it’s loving. Love keeps no record of wrong, it bares all things, endures all things. So keep on looking to Jesus, looking to the forgiveness we have received, keep loving Him and let that love flow through us in forgiving others. For God SO LOVED the world He gave His only begotten Son, there was a cost but the cost was paid out of love.

To God be the glory forever and ever amen.

Stephen Barton

[1] Frozen, You can tell I am a dad to girls.

Next week we start a series on ‘The Gifts of Christmas’.

The Lord’s Prayer Part 6 – “Give us this day our daily bread”

It’s good to be with you on The Hiding Place, and I’m thankful for the opportunity to share some of my thoughts with you on this portion of The Lord’s prayer that is so full and deep and rich. The whole prayer has been gifted to us by The Lord himself and it is...