“Forgiveness is unlocking the door to set someone free and realising you were the prisoner.” – Max Lucado
To a people who were being tempted to think that Jesus was not enough, the Apostle prays for them and reminds us all of what a disciple of Jesus Christ is.
Make Him proud (live well);
Expect He will succeed through you;
Grow to know Him;
Last the long haul;
Be thankful that He qualifies you to be a disciple;
There’s nothing I can’t be rescued from;
The final one is found in this verse, “in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. (Colossians 1:14)
Forgiveness is the hallmark of being a Christian.
The Cross bought our freedom. Forgiveness of sins was paid for.
When we approach God to say, “Will you forgive me?” There is no consultation, no inquiry or attitude of “yes just this time.” His response is, “It’s done.”
The proof that we struggle to truly understand how God can forgive us of our sins is found in the fact we struggle to forgive ourselves and carry around shame and embarrassment so that we begin to hide from God. Further to that not only do we hide from God but we withdraw from others either because we feel unworthy for such company or we are offended by them because they have let us down in some way (yes even God). The principle is this: if you now forgiveness you will forgive.
Read that line at the top again by Max Lucado.
The Apostle will speak more of forgiving others later in the letter so we just think of it slightly today within the understanding of our forgiveness from God. It goes hand-in-hand. You cannot have forgiveness without living a life of forgiveness.
On November 26, 2008, a gang of terrorists stormed the Taj Mahal Palace in Mumbai, India. After the carnage had left 200 people dead, a reporter interviewed a guest who had been at the hotel for dinner that night. The guest described how he and his friends were eating dinner when they heard gunshots. Someone grabbed him and pulled him under the table. The assassins came striding through the restaurant, shooting at will, until everyone (or so they thought) had been killed. Miraculously, this man survived. When the interviewer asked the guest how he lived when everyone else at his table had been killed, he replied, “I suppose because I was covered in someone else’s blood, and they took me for dead.” We need to be covered in blood. Not ours in some self-harming way and not that of others who have wronged us. But we need the evidence we have been to the Cross and understood what Jesus did for us there.
We need to be students of the blood of Jesus. We need to be bearers of forgiveness.