hope4all forgiveness

Brian Clark

hope4all forgiveness

“How can this man forgive sins?” See Mark 2:8-11. This is the occasion where Jesus, just prior to healing a crippled man, forgave the man’s sins. Those who saw this were incensed that Jesus would presume to forgive sins. Jesus, as you will recall, backed up what He had said with what He then did…he healed the man on the spot! The point  was made for this crowd: Jesus had the authority to forgive sins because He had the power to heal! Please meditate on this thought for just a moment or two: Jesus loves me and He will forgive me if I humble myself and sincerely ask to be forgiven (of course I am referring to those who have been adopted into God’s family).

Monday…It is not arguable: the greatest miracle in Jesus’ ministry is the fact that He was raised from the dead. Yes, others were also raised but they had to experience death once more. Jesus is the “first fruits” from the dead because He did not experience death again. I Corinthians 15:23 is worth reading on this point. Jesus, in being given all authority by the Father (Matthew 28), has the power to forgive sins. Your sins and mine. PTL!

Tuesday…Have you ever had to forgive someone? It is hard is it not? Think of how many times you have asked God for forgiveness and then meditate on His mercy and His grace. Jesus went to the cross for you and for me. Of the seven statements He issued in His torment on the cross, the one that has to do with our thoughts today is the one, “Father, forgive them for they do not know what they are doing.” It is true that whenever we sin, we do not know what we are doing. Our ignorance and rebellion know no bounds. Fortunately, Christ’s love also knows no bounds.

Wednesday…”If we say we have no sin, we are liars” (I John 1:8). I never cease to be amazed at those who are the most egregious sinners imaginable when they protest their innocence! We have all experienced family members, acquaintances, schoolmates, etc…or just people on the news who do the most horrendous things and yet they simply cannot see where they did wrong. They live in the ultimate deception—self deception. To acquire the forgiveness Christ offers, we have to realize our own sinfulness and His power and perfection.

Thursday…The Old Testament sacrifices merely “rolled” the sins of the people back for a determined period of time. Those sins were not paid for until Christ gave His life on the cross. Think of this: the power of the cross goes both ways in history…back to Adam and Eve and forward to the eschaton (the return of Christ; the end of time). Jesus has earned the right to forgive sins because He is the one sinned against and His sacrifice pays for what you and I have done. See the wonderful book of Hebrews on this critically important subject especially the chapters (4-10) where Jesus is identified as our High Priest.

Friday…”I owed a debt I could not pay; He paid a debt He did not owe.” So goes a great old expression which captures what Christ did for us. Never hesitate to ask Christ to forgive. The resurrected Christ has the power…and the inclination…to forgive. Never fall for Satan’s lie which says that you/me have sinned so badly and so often that God cannot or will not forgive.

By Dale Holzbauer