The Weight of Forgiveness

Forgiveness, can you imagine?*

When we see incredible acts of forgiveness, chills instantly come up and tears spring forth from our eyes. Whether it’s in a movie, video, book or real life, forgiveness is a beautiful thing. Why is it so beautiful? I’ll let Timothy Keller answer that question:

Forgiveness is a form of voluntary suffering. In forgiving, rather than retaliating, you make a choice to bear the cost.

Forgiveness is so beautiful because the victim is taking the cost that the offender should bear. It’s beautiful because that ultimately points to the forgiveness we find in the gospel.

Which brings up the question, How does God forgive us? Does He wave a magic wand and pronounce us forgiven out of thin air? Does He simply to decide to let things—our sin—go? No, of course not.

God is able to forgive us because of the sin-bearing, wrath-absorbing death of Christ. Setting aside Jesus’s perfect life for a moment which secured our righteousness in Him, when Jesus died on the cross, He wasn’t merely dying—He was taking on the full brunt of the Father’s wrath—for you. That amazing act purchased our forgiveness. God forgives our sin because Jesus took the penalty for it on the cross.

So, imagine forgiveness. Imagine the agony of Jesus on the cross. Imagine the determination He had to obtain forgiveness for those whom God saved. Imagine the loud cry of “It is finished!” which signaled His work was complete—our forgiveness is in store.

*Yes, yes, this is the second devotional in a row where I’ve mentioned a musical. That first line is from Hamilton. No, things aren’t getting out of hand!

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