Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.– Colossians 3:13
MEANING : Psychologists generally define forgiveness as a conscious, deliberate decision to release feelings of resentment or vengeance toward a person or group who has harmed you, regardless of whether they actually deserve your forgiveness.
1. NATURE OF THE KING:
- Our Lord Jesus who said to forgive others realistically practiced till the last breath of His life. The people who crucified Him didn’t ask for forgiveness but He pleaded for them to God.
- Although he knew beforehand that Peter would deny Him 3 times and His disciples would desert Him alone, He didn’t condemn them for forsaking Him when He appeared to them in the resurrected body. Instead, He said ‘peace be unto you’. He never recalled them even once about what they had done to Him.
Oh! how great would be if we have Christ-like nature.
2. JOSEPH: SHADOW OF CHRIST
This Christ-like nature was found in Joseph too. He never took revenge or rebuked his brothers for their brutality. Maybe this is one of the reasons he is said to be a ‘shadow of Christ’.
• Joseph had the valuable reason to take vengeance on his brothers. When he became Prime Minister of Egypt, by using his position he could have sent spies out looking for them to retaliate or command soldiers to destroy them, but he did not do so.
• What if he didn’t forgive and killed them-he would have smashed all the plan of God in his life and his brothers’ lives too. The nation of Israel -12 tribes would not have risen at all. Likewise, our forgiveness would definitely let God deal with them to come into repentance.
• Genesis 42:21 says, Joseph pleaded them in anguish in the pit he was thrown-But he never recalled their cruel behaviour instead he hugged them when he saw them after many years. How could he do that? it’s because of love.
Forgiveness is driven by LOVE or MERCY.
• Joseph is a man of the old testament who fulfilled the new testament commandment- ‘Overcome evil with good’.- Romans 12:21
In India, the gang who killed the missionary Mr Graham Staines is deserved to be hanged. Nevertheless, his wife forgave them for the sake of Christ. Though they are still in prison, we believe that his wife’s mercy would touch their hearts deeply.
3. HEART OF THE FATHER GOD:
The God we serve is a merciful God who is ever willing to forgive whenever we ask Him.
The Israelites often fell into the sin of idolatry. When God would pass on any judgement or strike them in anger (to bring them back to repentance), they would plead for forgiveness with much wailing. Then by seeing the groanings and sufferings of His people, His heart would melt and forgive them with unconditional love.
This is the heart of God the Father!
– To be continued