Some days it’s easy to forgive. Some days everything goes our way and we are very willing to give someone a pass. That tells us that our forgiveness is tied to more to our circumstances than out nature.
But when Jesus prayed, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do” it wasn’t on his best day. It was on his worst. That’s because for Jesus, forgiveness wasn’t about his circumstances, it was about who he was–who he continues to be.
I first preached this series about six years ago. As I read through the sermons and update them it’s interesting to see where I was when I first wrote them and where I am now. I like my outlines, I struggle with my applications. I wonder how well these spoke into the needs of my hearers.
This time around I think they spoke clearer. There were a few very personal conversations about forgiveness at the back of the auditorium after church. In the days that followed the sermon was shared and listened to a little more often online than some of my other messages.
It’s obvious forgiveness is a big issue for us all. I feel compelled to come back to it over and over again, not just in my preaching but in my total walk with Christ. I can’t claim to have a complete grasp on it, but I feel like I understand it better than when I was younger. That’s not because I’ve studied it more, it’s because I’ve been forced to live it more.
One lady in our church who has struggled recently with some huge issues of forgiveness asked me if I was preaching to her. I smiled and said, “You know it!”
The truth is when I preach about forgiveness I’m preaching to me.