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Learning Forgiveness

". . .Father, forgive them. . ." Luke 23:34

When we know the cross, we know forgiveness.

From that holy Body flows the blood which cleanses from all sin.

Just as Jesus looked upon the fellow to His right and then the other to His left, forgiving them, so Jesus looks upon our repentant hearts. He forgives us of our wrongs. We have all broken God's laws. There is none of us righteous, except Jesus the One born without sin.

Therefore, this sinless sacrifice has the credentials by which to forgive us of our wrongs. Only He has the wherewithal to do that; no other religious leader in history can perform that miracle upon the soul. Jesus only.

Consequently, because we know of forgiving grace through Jesus' mercy, we likewise can climb upon our cross by which to forgive those who have wronged us. In ourselves we do not have the equipment to show mercy. We are basically too selfish for all that.

Yet when Jesus' mercy is poured out upon our souls when we don't deserve it at all, then we are modeled by Him in how to forgive. He has already displayed for us the act. Therefore, follow this Jesus--which is what He has called you to do once you pick up His cross--into forgiving hearts.

There are persons who have been mean to you. They have lied about you. They have tried to cripple you when you did nothing to deserve it. They laid traps for you. They told friends things about you that were never factual.

And now those people go on their merry ways with you hunkering in the dust.

What are you going to do about all that injustice? You are going with Jesus into forgiveness. It will be painful. It will be hard. It will cause you to flinch. Yet you know that your forgiving another is your own healing just as it was the healing upon the body of Jesus.

"By His stripes we are healed."

And by His stripes He provides us with forgiving grace by which to look upon our enemies with prayer.

That in turn blossoms health within our own hearts.

To refuse the forgiving grace is to fester our own spirits. Eventually, we will die from such boils upon the soul. We are going to disease our inner parts if we continue with our grudges and seeking vengeance upon those who have wronged us.

But when we follow Jesus to the cross, entering into His provision of mercy, we then realize that it is a double blessing. We forgive and in that we are healed. We extend grace and in that we are lightened of our burden.

Is not Jesus kind in inviting us to forgive others as we have been forgiven. "Forgives us as we forgive those who have trespassed against us." Yes, it is basic, as fundamental as what we term "The Lord's Prayer."

So it is that we piously pray that prayer over and over again, alone and in the company of Christians; yet it is whether we live it out or not that determines our sincerity.

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