We do tremendous disservice to the concept of forgiveness in the way we treat it throughout our culture.
When we have been wronged, we tend to want to see whoever has wronged us go to great lengths to make things right.
We want them to somehow deserve our forgiveness. To take on the pain we have born at their hand until we don’t hurt anymore.
The tragedy in that, though, is that nobody is really capable of that type of recompense.
As a result, we tend to walk through life with deep wounds and nasty scars and heavy grudges that truly no one is able to bear.
When God offered us forgiveness through the death of His Son Jesus Christ, it came with the confounding truth that we could not earn it.
We could only accept it.
And to those who confess our sin into that basic truth, we are given grace.
This grace — this unearned favor — was given according to the measure of what, by its nature, is utterly immeasurable — Christ’s gift of salvation.
You can translate that word “gift” literally as a divine gratuity— something given willingly, over and above what was required.
And in the immeasurable gift that has been measured out to you, there is then a burden to then extend that same grace to everyone else.
In the original Greek manuscripts, the word used for “forgive” means literally to let go.
It can’t change what has happened to you. And it comes with no guarantee of being made whole.
It simply means the thing I’m holding against you, I will now let go of.
It is a necessary changing of your heart toward whomever has wronged you.
It doesn’t suggest you condone what has been done. It simply means you will no longer hold it against them.
Forgiveness is holding up a mirror to the grace that has been measured out to you from God on high, and pointing that mirror toward whoever has wounded you.
It is letting go of it the same as God has let go of our wrongs in the Name of Jesus.
God does not forget our sin — He is God! — He is incapable of forgetting.
It is that He chooses not to remember our sin. To no longer count it against us.
He has let it go, completely, under the blood of His Son.
So should it be with us, when we forgive.
We must let go, in the Name of Jesus, under the blood He has shed for us -- because that same blood was shed for the entire world. Including the one who has wronged you.
A miraculous thing happens in that: the wounds that have been inflicted on you begin to heal, confoundingly by the same wounds that Jesus bore on your behalf.
To truly forgive, we have to understand the true definition of the word.
To truly forgive, we must let go until it’s all gone.
We must instead lay hold of the immeasurable measure of grace that has been offered to each of us in Jesus Christ.
Joey Crandall | Calvary Chapel Carson Valley