Have you ever forgiven a loved one who wronged you and said they were sorry? It’s difficult, but to save the relationship, many people find it in their heart to forgive – especially if the other person is sincerely sorry. But how about the person who wrongs someone and is not sorry? Should they be shown forgiveness? It happened…about 2,000 years ago…
All of us, at one time or another, chooses wrong over right: to lie, steal, curse, or to resent, hate, or be jealous of another person. God calls this sin which is opposite of God’s nature of truth, kindness, mercy and love. Because we are made in God’s image and created to be in relationship with Him, when we sin, we separate ourselves from God and break the relationship—which breaks the very heart of God. But God wants to restore this relationship and is willing to forgive even when we’re not sorry. The Bible says in Romans 5:8 that “God demonstrates His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” God did not wait for us to come to Him for God knew that, left to ourselves, it would never happen. “God looks down from Heaven to see if there are any who seek after God…[but] no one seeks for God…they have all turned aside” (Psalm 14:2-3; Romans 3:11)
So, 2,000 years ago God went on a rescue mission. He came to forgive those who needed forgiveness but didn’t know to ask. God left His glory behind in Heaven and came to earth, wrapped in human flesh, to become the complete sacrifice for sin. He came because He believes you are worth dying for. “For God [the Father] so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son so that whoever believes in Him will not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)
God sent His Son to earth, not out of obligation, but to rescue His family. Jesus came to earth willingly, like a knight on a rescue mission! He presents Himself to you saying, “You are worth dying for. I want to help you become the person I created you to be. Will you follow me?”
The greatest gift ever given is not the concept of God’s forgiveness, but the LIFE of God’s Son for, “without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.” (Hebrews 9:22).
Those who look upon God’s Son who, as He was being nailed to the Cross, said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34) and turn away, will not spend an eternity regretting their sin – that’s done and paid for. Rather, they will be left to remember all the ways God tried to reach out to them, reveal Himself to them, and demonstrate His love in an endless pursuit to have a relationship with them—that God believed they were even worth dying for—but they refused His gift.
God sent His Son on a rescue mission. Easter is the celebration of this amazing gift. Jesus left Heaven to save us, all of us, and to open His Heavenly home to all who will receive Him. “to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.” (John 1:12). God wants to restore a relationship with you and He is only a prayer away. If you want to receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior – the greatest gift ever given – you can pray a simple prayer something like this: Father, thank you for loving me and sending your Son to forgive me. Jesus, thank you for paying the penalty for my sin. I am sorry for living my life apart from You and choose today to follow You. Please come into my heart and make me the person You created me to be. Amen.
If you prayed this prayer in faith and sincerity, I’d love to hear from you. Then, I encourage you to begin by reading the gospel of John and ask God to lead you to a healthy, loving church home where you can grow deeper in your faith.
“There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” (John 15:13)
What a gift! What love! What an amazing God!
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This article is also featured as the April 12, 2017 daily devotion on CBN.com.