OUR CROSS TO BEAR

Sunday, 11 January 2015 13:20 Written by 


The staggering part of God's affections is that God doesn't just permit us to know Him...He sacrificed deeply to make it happen. God didn't simply leave an unattainable invitation for us to be with Him...He paid the highest possible price to make it possible to secure an intimacy with Him. That price was forgiveness in the form of Jesus on the cross.

No author can conjure up in their earthly brilliance a greater love story. The judge of the universe relentlessly chased after those who rebelled against Him. Mankind made themselves God's enemy by rejecting His affectionate rule and instead followed their own desires. Yet God so loves His enemies that He sent His own son to pay the penalty for their crimes. Gods wrath for sin was satisfied as Jesus hung on the cross. Through His death, those who believe are cleared of their sin and reconciled to the God we once rejected...forgiveness. This makes God both fair and forgiving...just and justifier (Romans 3:21-26). He didn't just die...He suffered excruciating physical and emotional pain. Not just for the loveable but even for His enemies...those that hated Him...forgiveness.

This amazing act of forgiveness purposed to reconcile mankind to himself...all who reject Him. How about our need to forgive? Is there enough love in our hearts that would manifest a desire for forgiveness to reconcile those who have rejected us...those who have wronged us? It's a popular teaching that forgiving another sets the one holding onto unforgiveness free...this is true of course. Let's take it one step further...giving forgiveness isn't just about us. Consider the forgiveness that was extended to us by the cross. Extending our forgiveness to another opens the door to the possibility for them to be reconciled with us. Where there is unforgiveness there can be no reconciliation...only a hardened heart. Not everyone desires to be reconciled with God...not everyone's heart is in a sincere or pure motive to be reconciled to God. God is the judge of that but He is always willing and has provided the way, should we come with pure hearts. The same is true in our situations with individuals. Not all can be or should be reconciled because of their motives or intentions. The deeper point here is, are we in a place that our heart is capable of the kind of forgiveness that can open the door to the possibilities...this kind of forgiveness is an extension of the work of the cross...it is our cross to bear...it is Christ-likeness. He paid the price...it is ours to embrace what He purchased.

Jesus gave Himself to the most horrific death to bring us to God. At that moment everything was changed. All mankind was destined for what would have been a horrifying encounter with God...we would have been "objects of wrath" (Eph. 2:3)...but the course of history was all changed by the ultimate act of forgiveness.

I wonder...in this coming week what will be our acts of forgiveness...how will I fare in following His example?

Next week...how giving forgiveness affects the one being forgiven.

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William Broer

William Broer is the co-founder of freedom House Canada Incorporated. He has a real passion for ministering to the brokenhearted. Having studied under several high-profile ministries and interning with Elijah House ministries, Bill is committed to making the word of God practical in our everyday experiences.

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