The urge to stop, kneel, and weep was strong.
I was on a run listening to N.T. Wright teach on Jesus, specifically, His proclamation that when God is in charge, there is forgiveness. With each word I could see forgiveness ooze out of Jesus and, with each step, intently listened to the powerful revelation.
Holiness, reverence, and deep acknowledgement of God’s overwhelming love consumed me and it was hard to keep going. I wanted to fall to my knees and worship Jesus because His love is so good, but I just kept moving. My hunger kept me moving, but I didn’t want anyone to see me and worry that I was hurt. Tears were running down my face and I’m pretty sure I was making that ugly crying face. I kept pushing forward and worshipped Him with my heart.
Jesus oozed forgiveness. It’s all I could think of. It’s all I could see.
“Father, forgive them! They don’t know what they’re doing.” That’s what Jesus said as He was being tortured. A powerful demonstration of love.
Before this Jesus went around healing and forgiving sins (which is a kind of healing). Again, if God is in charge and King, forgiveness would be a standard. Every healing incorporated faith, repentance, AND forgiveness.
In Luke 7, we are told about a woman who kissed, cried, anointed, and wiped the feet of Jesus. Why? Because of her love for Him.
Her love was so deep because she knew that her sins were forgiven. The revelation of forgiveness is what caused her love to be so great. Many read that passage and have taught that it was because she had many sins, so she had to be forgiven much, which allowed her to love much.
Hear me, beautiful brother and sister. That is not what Christ is revealing. It was not her many sins that drove her to love much. It was forgiveness that impregnated her with such love in her. Her recognition that Jesus forgave her sins caused this profound love that had no shame in kissing feet. She knew He was worthy of extravagant worship. It was not her sin that revealed this to her, but forgiveness.
Oh, how powerful forgiveness is that it drives us to love with such deep passion.
Forgive. Ask for forgiveness. Repent. Change. Love.
Love is not selfish. But it’s also not selfless. It’s other-centered.
When I realize how much I’ve been forgiven, I’ll dish it out freely. The result. A culture of honor and love.
Who do you have to forgive today? Do you have anyone you should apologize to today?