Thoughts On Forgiveness

December 31, 2008

God created man, and we rebelled against Him.  God breathed life into man’s nostrils, and we slew our brother.  God put His image into man, and we sought to drive it out with a plethora of debasing perversions. 

So God became man, in order to redeem man from all these things.  And, true to our nature, we killed Him.   We beat Him half to death, openly mocked Him to His bloody face, wrapped thorns around His head, nailed Him to a piece of wood and let Him hang from it in public until He died, after which we speared Him like an animal and hurriedly whisked the corpse away, lest the whole affair interfere with our religious feasting.  After all, we must wash our hands before we eat. 

This God/Man, having been raised from the dead and enthroned as King of the Universe, and having every right to execute wrathful vengeance upon us all for our multiple and grievous offenses, now acts as intercessor between guilty man and righteous Judge.  He is both just and the One who justifies.  He forgives.

Now what is our part in this justification?  What great act did we perform to turn the heart of God toward the haters of God?  At what point in our history did we change our basic nature from one of godless rebellion to one worthy of God’s favor?  What rightful claim do we have to forgiveness?  And when the Spirit of God grants us the ability to offer a woefully insufficient “Im sorry,” what else do we bring to the table to sweeten the deal?  

Christians, who know the answers to these questions, forget that they also know the answer to this one: Is my brother less worthy of my forgiveness than I am of God’s?