In a recent reading on forgiveness, I was reminded of a relative. Through family stories during my childhood, I came to mistrust and then dislike him. It wasn’t until years after his death that God took the matter up with me. By that time, I was a grown woman with a husband and a baby.
While walking to work one day, I heard these words in my heart. “It’s time to forgive. Will you?”
I had been harboring those ill feelings for a long time, not even aware of them most of the time. But that day I discovered that, for Jesus’ sake, I could forgive. The person didn’t have to ask for my forgiveness, didn’t even have to know he had offended me. I could set myself free of ill feelings simply by forgiving.
How about you? Have you struggled with the remembrance of someone’s offenses against you or someone you love? What has your struggle taught you about the power of forgiveness?
I’ll never forget the evening Jim and I watched Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of the Christ” at our local movie theater. As we exited with other patrons, no one uttered a word! What we had just witnessed on the screen–the unvarnished horror Jesus’ sufferings–had stunned us to silence.
As I recall the movie’s content, all I can say is, “What amazing love God has for us!”
That Jesus would willingly suffer such a horrible death penalty for our sin. That he would choose to die on the cross in our place so all we have to do is admit we’re sinners and accept God’s free gift to wipe away our debt. What amazing and compassionate kindness!
Some may say, “Nothing in life comes that easy.”
Easy? For us, yes.
But far from easy for the Son of God who died in our place . . . as Gibson’s well-researched film makes so very clear.
How about you? Have you seen Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of the Christ”? How did it affect you?