Forgive Me

Weekend Series: Easter 2023

DreamTeam Writer: Casey Stengel

Tuesday, April 11, 2023

Could you forgive someone who beat you, tortured you, and nailed you to a device designed to kill you with your own body weight?

Jesus did. He used some of his last, desperate breaths to ask God for their forgiveness. Because they didn’t know what they were doing.

Forgiving the people who tortured me, not to mention those responsible for putting me in that situation, would probably be one of the last things going through my mind in that situation. But Jesus knew what was coming, and he did it anyway. Only a perfect and willing sacrifice could cancel our debt of sin and reconcile our relationship with God.

Luke 23:34a
Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.”

We aren’t capable of finding forgiveness on our own—we don’t know what we’re doing! No matter how hard we try, we will fail. Jesus is our forgiveness.

Because of his forgiveness, we don't need to punish ourselves when we do something wrong. We are forgiven.

I know that when I mess up, it eats at me, especially when I know I need to ask for forgiveness. I overthink and overanalyze everything. I replay the event in my head, looking for a solution to make it better. But then I think, maybe it’s just easier to run away and avoid that person altogether. (Seriously, how do I go from one extreme to the next in a matter of seconds?)

I have to remind myself in these situations that Jesus is my forgiveness. It shouldn’t matter what someone here on earth says or thinks about me—the only thing that matters is who Jesus says I am.

I am his, and I am forgiven.

That doesn't mean we have permission to do whatever we want to whoever we want without a care. We are called to love and respect each other and ask for forgiveness when we mess up. Yes, that is difficult at times, but we can do it because he did.

Jesus’ actions on the cross didn’t only serve to offer us forgiveness for our own sins, we are called to follow his example and extend that forgiveness to those who have sinned against us. This is often just as difficult as forgiving ourselves.

Matthew 6:14
“If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you.”

For some of us, offering forgiveness is just too overwhelming right now. It takes strength and fortitude to forgive someone for hurting you, but we know that God’s strength works best in our weakness. So as we trust Jesus with our own forgiveness, we can trust that he will also provide the way for us to forgive others.

Through him all things are possible.

Are you holding onto something that should be forgiven? Is Jesus your forgiveness or are you struggling to find it on your own?

Next Steps:
Talk to Jesus and ask him how to forgive. Trust that he is your forgiveness. Start a reading plan on forgiveness, so you can have a better understanding.

If you’re struggling to find freedom from a hurt, habit, or hang-up, consider attending CelebrateRecovery.

Father, thank you for never leaving my side. No matter how much I let my mind run and worry about what others might be thinking about me, remind me that Jesus is my forgiveness. I don’t need to worry about the things that bring me down so much. Knowing that I always have you to rely on for all my fears and anxieties brings me so much peace. And knowing that you call me yours and that I am forgiven because of what Jesus did for me on the cross brings me strength. In Jesus' name, amen.

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