THIS WEEK: Favorite Forgiveness Moments
If you knew you were never going to see a person or family member again, what would you say to them?
You might share a fond memory. You may express your appreciation. You would give important wisdom and direction for the future.
Jesus’ time on the earth was coming to an end. So what does Jesus choose to communicate?
He doesn’t recount all the miracles or touching moments of healing. He doesn’t focus on fond memories of fishing excursions and feeding thousands. Rather, he focuses on putting hearts at peace, filling minds with clarity and engraining the message he wanted shared.
Luke 24:45-49 Then he opened their [the disciples] minds so they could understand the Scriptures. 46 He told them, “This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, 47 and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these things. 49 I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.”
There are four key aspects to the message Jesus wants shared (the heart of Christianity).
- Scripture. All Scripture is given for our heart to believe and our mind to understand.
- Repentance. Turning 180 degrees from a heart and life of sin.
- Forgiveness. The reality that God has cancelled the debt and punishment your sin deserved.
- Christ. The perfect life, the agonizing death and glorious resurrection applied to you.
At the heart of that message? Repentance and forgiveness.
Imagine if you had enough money to give every person you met $100. Wouldn’t that be fun to give out? Imagine the stories of lives changed, days lifted, and gratitude expressed. The single mom a couple days short of the next paycheck. The coworker who just received an eviction notice. The waitress who was cheery on the outside but depressed on the inside.
These same lives and more can be changed when we “preach” forgiveness freely (“preach” in the original is a ‘herald bringing good news’). It’s one of Jesus’ final directions to us. You have experienced forgiveness. Now we get to share forgiveness.
Forgiveness isn’t just for you. It is for everyone you see and with whom you interact.
Scared? Hesitant? Me too. Jesus’ knows. So were the disciples. That’s why he gave them and us his Holy Spirit, the “power from on high” to help us.
Apply: Ask the Spirit to guide you into one conversation this week that he sets up where you get to “preach repentance and forgiveness” found only in Jesus.
Prayer: Jesus, thank you for doing all for my forgiveness. Spirit of God make me bold and excited to share that same forgiveness with others. AMEN.