Listen: 57 Question 3

Sometimes terrible things happen and we feel we can never forgive the person that hurt us or someone we love.  There are some things that just seem like they are too bad to be forgiven.  Perhaps we lose a child due to the carelessness of a drunk driver.  Perhaps some trusted friend cheats us out of lots of money and creates a terrible financial hardship for us.  Perhaps someone murders a loved one.  How do we find the ability to forgive the unforgivable?

We have the perfect example in Christ, our savior. Let’s read Ephesians 4:31-32, “Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.”  Just think of some of the terrible things you have done in your life.  Through Christ, there is forgiveness.  King David was a murderer.  The Apostle Paul was a murderer.  Peter denied the Lord.  Jonah ran from the Lord.  The nation of Israel was guilty of crucifying the Lord Jesus, yet we read of the Lord’s offer of forgiveness to them in Acts 3:19 where we read, “Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out…”

In the book of Genesis, we have the incredible account of the life of Joseph.  After he was sold into slavery by his brothers, he was bought by a man named Potiphar.  Potiphar came to trust Joseph very much and left all the affairs of his home under Joseph’s care.  When Potiphar’s wife began to be attracted to him, she tried to seduce him.  We read Joseph’s answer to her in Genesis 39:9 which says, “There is none greater in this house than I; neither hath he kept back any thing from me but thee, because thou art his wife: how then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?”  Notice that Joseph said that his sin would be against God.  All sin is sin against God.  Every time we have sinned, we have sinned against God.  Yet, through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, we have forgiveness of all our sins.  Certainly we can learn to forgive when we think about how the Lord has forgiven us.

We read of the sufferings of the Lord Jesus in a prophetic sense in Psalms 69:4 which says, “They that hate me without a cause are more than the hairs of mine head: they that would destroy me, being mine enemies wrongfully, are mighty.”  Let’s look at how the Roman soldiers treated the Lord prior to His crucifixion.  Matthew 27:27-31 says, “Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the common hall, and gathered unto him the whole band of soldiers.  And they stripped him, and put on him a scarlet robe. And when they had platted a crown of thorns, they put it upon his head, and a reed in his right hand: and they bowed the knee before him, and mocked him, saying, Hail, King of the Jews! And they spit upon him, and took the reed, and smote him on the head. And after that they had mocked him, they took the robe off from him, and put his own raiment on him, and led him away to crucify him.”  Consider how the Jewish people treated Him while He hung on the cross.  Matthew 27:41-43 says, “Likewise also the chief priests mocking him, with the scribes and elders, said, He saved others; himself he cannot save. If he be the King of Israel, let him now come down from the cross, and we will believe him. He trusted in God; let him deliver him now, if he will have him: for he said, I am the Son of God.”  In spite of this terrible, terrible treatment of the Lord, we hear Him pray in Luke 23:34, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.”  When we think of how much the Lord Jesus forgave us that should strengthen us to forgive even the most unforgiveable things.

Let’s read Matthew 18:21-22 which says, “Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.”  Because we have been forgiven so much, the Lord expects us to have the spirit of forgiveness towards others.  (57.3)