From the beginning when God created a perfect world and sinless people to walk with Him in His garden, sin entered that perfect world through Adam and Eve’s foolish decision and their resulting disobedience. Hence, our nature to sin has been passed down through every generation.
But God cannot look upon sin, so He sent His Son to this earth to pay the price for our sin and win us back into fellowship with Himself.
That journey to forgiveness began over two thousand years ago when God placed His Holy Seed into the womb of a righteous young virgin named Mary and said His Son would be called Jesus, meaning “Jehovah saves.”
As a youth, Jesus astounded the religious leaders of the day with the depth of His knowledge and understanding of the Holy Scriptures. But then again, He should know them. They were inspired by His Father, with whom He’d already spent eternity past.
Finding Himself in human form, Jesus stayed in close personal contact with His Father to follow His will, saying and doing only what His Father told Him to say and do. He was the one and only perfect human being. Without sin. Obedient to death.
Because He was without sin, He paved the way for our sins to be forgiven. His obedient journey on earth led Him to His death on the cross and crying out, “Father forgive them…” and minutes later, “My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?”
Describing that harrowing moment, Pastor Tony Evans said, “Jesus became sin, severing Himself from the fullness of the intimacy He had always known with His Father. As the sin of the whole world shot through His body, God the Father turned His back on His Son…Jesus endured the distance, the desertion, and the rejection for us.” For us!
Thankfully, our journey to forgiveness isn’t nearly as painful as crucifixion. It only requires a humble heart, a desire to be cleansed of all unrighteousness, and bowing the head or bending the knee. Pretty simple, huh; but mandatory if we want peace in our lives here and on the other side of eternity.
But seeking forgiveness does not come naturally to us. Sinning does. The apostle Paul said, “I do what I don’t want to do, and don’t do what I want to do. What a wretched man am I.”
I know how he feels, don’t you? Thankfully Jesus provided the way to rid ourselves of the burden of sin.
1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”
Wow! All we have to do is ask with a sincere heart. When we forgive people who’ve done us wrong, our heavenly Father forgives us of the wrongs we have committed. If we do not forgive, we will not be forgiven. In other words, what goes around comes around. What we send out boomerangs back to us.
During this season of forgiveness, we celebrate the resurrection of the Lord Jesus–the One who loved us and gave Himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God for the forgiveness of our sins. So let us also take time to forgive those who have hurt us and to seek forgiveness from those whom we’ve hurt.
That simple act of forgiving will release burdens, rejuvenate friendships, restore our fellowship with God and add the sweet fragrance of peace to our lives.