Promise of Forgiveness
Promise of Forgiveness
One of the most important things that we need to remember about forgiveness that will help us in our endeavor to forgive, forgiveness is a promise, a promise never to bring up that event against that person again, not to bring up to God, not to the person who committed it, not to anyone else. This is a deliberate decision to deal with another’s transgression by doing away with it, pressing the delete key, erasing the slate clean. When we commit to this we are giving up our right to punish the offender or to make him pay, his record has been cleared.
Have you ever had someone come up to you and say “I have forgiven so-and-so”, only in their next sentence they begin to list all the hurtful things that person has done to them. This is truly an indication that they have not forgiven the individual. Forgiveness is a promise, it’s a promise God has made to us. Micah 7:18–1918 Who is a God like you, pardoning iniquity and passing over transgression for the remnant of his inheritance? He does not retain his anger forever, because he delights in steadfast love. 19 He will again have compassion on us; he will tread our iniquities underfoot. You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea.
The sin that we have committed against God is real, and our sin that we continue to commit against Him is real. The price has been paid by our Lord and Savior, He has cast our sins into the depths of the sea. That atoning blood that was shed on Calvary paid for our transgressions once and for all. That’s a promise we can carry into eternity. Even when we make excuses for not forgiving others, we come back to the fact when we were forgiven we did not deserve to be forgiven. Perhaps we may think we didn’t need to be forgiven or perhaps didn’t even want to be forgiven.
When we understand the fact that Jesus paid the price we should appreciate the joy of forgiveness by knowing what a treasure it is to be perfectly forgiven. What a blessing it is when we extend to others the forgiveness that Christ extends to us by his suffering on the cross, we reflect the mercy and the grace of God to a world that so desperately needs to be forgiven.
In his book “The Last Jew of Rotterdam” Ernest Cassutto a Dutch Jew tells of kneeling on the floor of his prison cell one unending day reading the Bible. He came across the passage where the three young friends of Daniel Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego had been cast into the fiery furnace for the Lord Himself had met them. There was a fourth man who also appeared to Ernest, telling him that you can forgive the Germans, you can pray for them and love them. Ernest responded: “Forgive them? Love them? How can I? They’ve taken me prisoner, they killed thousands of Jews. Forgive them? It’s too much for me.” Then Ernest remembered what Jesus had said: Matthew 5:4444 But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you. I can only think of one time where forgiveness would be harder than what Ernest went through, when Jesus was on the cross. Luke 23:3434 And Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” And they cast lots to divide his garments.
Ernest knew that he must relinquish his hatred and forgive. I know as well as you do, an experience like that cannot be faked or manufactured. For a Holocaust survivor like Ernest for you and for me forgiveness is indeed a supernatural undertaking it’s not something we can do ourselves. We must have God’s help in order to accomplish complete forgiveness. Forgiveness is indeed costly but it’s not beyond the means of those who are living and emulating the attributes of Jesus Christ in our lives. When God tells us to love our enemies, He also gives us the love to go along with that command. 2 Peter 1:3–43 His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, 4 by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire.
Yes we can forgive because God has granted us everything that pertains to life and godliness.