Have you ever forgiven a loved one who wronged you and said they were sorry? It’s not easy, but to save the relationship, most of us can find it in our hearts to forgive – especially if the other person is sincerely sorry. But what about the person who wrongs someone and is not sorry? Should they be shown forgiveness?
It happened…about 2,000 years ago.
Each of us, at one time or another, chooses bad over good, 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 extend forgiveness 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. The Son of God left the glory of Heaven and came to earth wrapped in human flesh, to offer Himself as the perfect sacrifice for sin. “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). And His gift is available to all: even from the Cross – bloodied and dying – Jesus cries out, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34).
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 turn away from His gift 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 reached out to them, demonstrating His love in an endless pursuit to have a relationship with them—but they refused.
But “to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.” (John 1:12). If you want this amazing gift – to receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior – you can choose to do so right now by praying this prayer from a sincere heart: 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 I 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. To begin your journey with God, I recommend reading the gospel of John and asking 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.