Tuesday, January 12, 2010

He forgives me, he forgives me not, he forgives me, he forgives me not...

....for if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly father will forgive you. But if you don't forgive men when they sin against you, your father in Heaven will not forgive you" Jesus is quoted as saying to the people within earshot. In reading this, a thought came to me...

 No--it wasn't the old covenant verses the new covenant, but rather a stipulation Jesus put on the forgiveness issue. He's preaching before the cross, so of course, forgiveness was conditional, in contrast to after the cross, where humanity was forgiven once and for all by that one offering (Check out II Corinthians 5). What puzzled me about this verse, was that the Jews already had a forgiveness system in place. Sacrifices. All throughout the old Covenant, we read where different ones were sacrificing this animal or that animal in order for God to forgive them. This was the law handed down by God through Moses. So now, according to Jesus, no matter how many sacrifices one might partake in, if the participate doesn't forgive their brother, then they're wasting their time? God won't forgive someone who's holding unforgiveness within themselves? What does that say about God ans His Law? Quite frankly, the meaning of that aludes me. I just know that now, on this side of the resurrection, we have it a lot better. God knew what He was doing when I was born in the time zone I'm in. He no longer holds my sins against me--including when I've made the decision to not forgive someone else for wronging me. Being the Heavenly Father He is, he doesn't leave me there in my harden heart of grudges, instead, woes me and compassionately teaches me to forgive others just as He's already forgiven me.
It's true, I admit--I don't know a lot of of the Old Testament's intent. I can retell the Bible Stories from Sunday School, but more often than not, I cannot tell you why God put them there. I can tell you that I am thankful for His forgiveness, enabling me to receive life that's Eternal.
A Grace Gal

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