“Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.” Matt. 6:12.
To be forgiven is powerful freedom and to forgive others is a powerful choice. Jesus linked receiving and giving forgiveness. God wants us to be both FORGIVEN (by Him) and to be FORGIVING (us to others).
As we experience relationships and circumstances at all levels, we are aware of imperfections and the need to continually receive and give forgiveness. We disappoint others and are disappointed by them. To forgive, therefore, has to be a way of life for our sake.
Jesus leads us in the power to rule our hearts by the power of choice. He led us by His example. In the journey to the cross, He heard the curses thrown at Him by the crowd; the scorn from the people He had healed; the jeers from the people He had fed; the slander of the people He would die for; the rejection and abandonment from His beloved disciples. The debt was piling up. His hurt was real. The deep pain in His heart was greater than the pain in His tortured body. The battle was fierce – emotional and spiritual. Demons jeered and waited for His choice – to save or to condemn, to love or to hate. The angels waited and listened as the people cursed Him.
He stood on the cross with criminals: “When they came to the place called the Skull, there they crucified him, along with the criminals – one on his right, the other on his left. BUT Jesus with awesome power, chose to forgive and said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.” Luke 23:33-34.
This was the greatest display of power; a power that now makes us powerful to choose to forgive others as our Savior forgives us daily. “Freely you have received, freely give,” (Matt. 10:8) for your sake, for the sake of others and for His sake.
I have the power of Jesus Christ and I choose to forgive others even as in mercy He has forgiven me.
Read the Bible in One Year: Genesis 25-26; Matthew 8:1-17