This is the season when we celebrate the central attraction of Christianity. This season commemorates the pain, agony, maltreatment, scorn, death, and the ascension of the Lord Jesus Christ. But why do we rather celebrate such a time and not mourn. It is so simple a reason. This season is celebrated because of the significance of Christ’s death, which will come to light shortly, to the Christiandom.
Man fell short of the glory of the almighty God through the sins of Adam and Eve, and a gap was created between man and God. To bridge this gap, God brought the law through Moses to mankind to make him righteous. But these laws were hard to go by and as a result couldn’t make man righteous, and so the need for an alternative, which is the blood of a pure and a holy being.
To pacify something completely, a holy and pure blood is required. So God provided his Holy, pure and only son to be sacrificed so the sins of man can be pacified through faith. So you see, the passing of this wicked world by the Lord Jesus Christ was solely to die to make me, as well as you, pure and without sin in the eyes of God.
As we rejoice and celebrate, we should remember that this season is simply for forgiveness because if God could provide this avenue for our sins to be forgiven completely, then there is nothing that could possibly hold us from forgiving a fellow man.
Think of this, Jesus gave up his life through torture from man for man to be free of his sins. Are you not forgiving him because?
- You gave all your heart to him and he broke it?
- He gossiped about you?
- He pointed accusing fingers at you?
- He was supposed to love you and he rather betrayed you?
- He insulted and tried to assassinate your character?
- He made you lose your job?
- He was responsible for your poverty?
- He didn’t care?
- He murdered someone dear to you? Etc
None of the above reasons carry that much weight for you to hold that thing against your fellow man to death. In bitterness, pain, anger one must be yearning to forgive wholeheartedly and that is being a true Christian.
WHY WE NEED TO FORGIVE
For freely we were given, freely must we also give.
In Matt 6:12, when Jesus was teaching the disciples how to pray, he made them understand their prayer must be filled with these elements; adoration, forgiveness, thanksgiving and supplication. He gave a very vital condition for the forgiveness of sins. He says in the text that anyone who is asking or expecting forgiveness from God must have already forgiven a brother, sister, friend who has committed sin against them. Matt 6:14-15 makes it clearer.
Simply put, he said an unforgiving heart doesn’t benefit forgiveness from God. Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. If you don’t forgive a brother whole-heartedly, He also wouldn’t forgive you wholly.
THE FORGIVING HEART OF THE CHRISTIAN
Reading through the Bible are several examples of Christians who have shown this spirit of forgiveness on the verge of death. Let’s take a look at some of these people
Jesus when nailed to the cross made seven statements. The first, “Father, father forgive them for they do not know what they are doing” – Luke 23:34, is a prayer of forgiveness. This is simply what Jesus, a leader by examples, expects of us. A Christian’s spirit of forgiveness must know no bounds, even though sometimes it is painful to see somebody rip your heart apart. Just take consolation in the fact that Jesus went through something worse than you, and he forgave freely and willfully. I am tempted to believe that it is through death that a Christian gets to see Jesus and God. If so, then take it that that person who is trying hard to send you six feet down the earth is rather making your time to meet your Lord shorter and all your prayer must be for him to be forgiven for he doesn’t know what he is doing. Please don’t take vengeance because vengeance is the Lord’s.
Stephen on the brink of death through torture prayed for those torturing him to be forgiven. – Acts 7:60. If Jesus and Stephen on the verge of death prayed for their enemies to be forgiven, then what are you waiting for? As a Christian you have absolutely no excuse to hold something against someone.
Ideally, there must be no thought of revenge, no indication of anger, no touch of bitterness, and no trace of self-pity in our petition to God to forgive those who have sinned against us.