Light to Live By

"The unfolding of your words gives light ..." (Psalm 119:130a)

Category: Forgiveness (page 2 of 2)

I am Free!

“He died for me; he made his righteousness mine and made my sin his own; and if he made my sin his own, then I do not have it, and I am free.” (Martin Luther, quoted in The Cross He Bore, Frederick S. Leahy, p.53)

Real Repentance

“For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death.” (2 Cor. 7:10)

“Remorse is sorrow for being caught; repentance is grieved over the sin. Remorse is distress over the consequences, repentance is brokenness over its rebellion against a holy God. Remorse is temporary and fleeting, but repentance is lasting and life-changing. Remorse is the embarrassed cry of an unbroken soul being caught red-handed, while repentance is the believer’s cry of horror over the darkness of his own soul. Remorse hides self-will under the cloak of contrition. When the spot light is off, self-will crawls out from under the wraps to ascend the throne once again. Real repentance, on the other hand, comes clean, slays self-will and ushers Christ back to His rightful place on the throne of our lives. Real repentance begins in a moment, but becomes an abiding attitude and orientation to life.” (Praying Through, p.149)

Forgiveness

It is not in human nature to extend forgiveness.

The Hebrew Psalmist, reflecting upon the destruction of Jerusalem, prayed: “Remember, LORD, what the Edomites did on the day Jerusalem fell. ‘Tear it down,’ they cried, ‘tear it down to its foundations!’ Daughter Babylon, doomed to destruction, happy is the one who repays you according to what you have done to us. Happy is the one who seizes your infants and dashes them against the rocks.” (Psalm 137:7-9)

William Willimon tells of a rabbi friend who once confided to him that he admired most of what Jesus said and did, but that he found His first words from the cross “most offensive, lamentable, and reprehensible” Why? “We’ve had enough Jews crucified by gentiles. We don’t need any more Jews forgiving gentiles for killing Jews.” (p.11, Thank God It’s Friday)

Elie Wiesel, the renown professor, author, human rights activist, Nobel Laureate, and Holocaust survivor was asked to offer prayer at the official events commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz and Birkenau. He prayed, “God of forgiveness, do not forgive those who created this place. God of mercy, have no mercy on those who killed Jewish children here. Do not forgive the murderers or their accomplices whose work was to kill. . . . Remember the nocturnal processions of children, so many children, all so wise, so frightened, so beautiful. . . . God of compassion, have no compassion for those who had none.” (p.194, And the Sea is Never Full)

We can all be thankful that it is in the divine nature to be more gracious.

Hanging on the cross, Jesus Christ prayed, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” (Luke 23:34)

 

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