Forgiveness

Last Saturday Night was Grace Community Church’s annual Autumn Supper . This is a great formal evening consisting of a fantastic meal followed by a guest speaker , we all try to invite family and friends who are not yet committed to the Lord. This years guest speaker was Robin Oake former, police commissioner and Christian.  Robin’s son Stephen Oake ,also a Christian and anti terrorist police officer was murdered during an anti terror raid in Manchester where he was stabbed by an alleged terror suspect. He was just 40 , married with children.

Please have a quick read of this article.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/shropshire/content/articles/2008/09/22/20080922_robin_oake_feature.shtml

How can anyone forgive the killer of someone so dear to them, that person who rips them savagely away from you and their loved ones. A life time without them.

As a Christian myself i find it so difficult to get my head around. What strong unshakable faith you must need.

I know i could forgive someone if they say, told lies of me, but for murdering a loved one??

But the bible teaches us that sin is sin no matter what the action is , SIN IS SIN. Who are we to judge others and condemn them when we ourselves blindly sin every day of our lives.

We have been forgiven by the grace of God , so we to should through God forgive those who Sin against us. We should not judge others only God can judge.

What if the person we need to forgive is not a believer?

I have found that prayer is one of the best ways to break down the wall of forgiveness in my heart. When I begin to pray for the person who has wronged me, God gives me new eyes to see and a new heart to care for that person. As I pray, I start to see that person as God sees them, and I realize that he or she is precious to the Lord. I also see myself in a new light, just as guilty of sin and failure as the other person. I too am in need of forgiveness. If God did not withhold his forgiveness from me, why should I withhold my forgiveness from another?

Matthew 18:21-22

Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.

Is it okay to feel anger and want justice for the person we need to forgive?

This question presents another reason to pray for the person we need to forgive. We can pray for God to deal with the injustices, for God to judge the person’s life, and then we can leave that prayer at the altar. We no longer have to carry the anger. Although it is normal for us to feel anger toward sin and injustice, it is not our job to judge the other person in their sin.

Luke 6:37

“Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven;

When Jesus says, “Do not judge, and you will not be judged,” Jesus is not saying that we must not judge people so that people do not judge us. Jesus is not teaching some sort of relativism that we just let people believe what they want to believe so that no one is judging each other. Jesus is talking about God judging others. Do not judge others and you will not be judged by God. Do not condemn others and you will not be condemned by God. Forgive others and you will be forgiven by God.

Previously, Jesus taught to do to others as you want them to do to you. Now Jesus teaches this principle: Do to others what you want God to do to you.Treat others, not only how you want them to treat you, but also how you want God to treat you. Jesus is not teaching that we can avoid the day of final judgment if we somehow be sure not to judge other people. No one can avoid the day of judgment. All must stand before the judgment seat of Christ.

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Living The Script

From the beginning God made it clear that he intends for us to be significant players in his drama. No doubt, it is first and foremost God’s story. But we can’t passively sit back and just watch what happens. At every stage he invites humans to participate with him.

Here are three key steps to finding your place in the drama.

1.IMMERSE YOURSELF IN THE BIBLE

If we are unfamiliar with the text of the drama itself, there’s no chance of living our parts well. Only when we read both deeply and widely in the Bible , marinating in it and letting it soak into our lives , will we be prepared to effectively take up our roles. The more we read the Bible ,the better readers we will become. Rather than skimming the surface we will become skilled at interpreting and practicing what we read.

 

2. COMMIT AND FOLLOW JESUS

We’ve all taken part in the brokenness and wrongdoing that came into the story. The victory of Jesus now offers us the opportunity to have our lives turned around. Our sins can be forgiven. We can become part of God’s story of new creation.

Turn away from your wrongdoing. God has acted through the death and resurrection of the Messiah to deal decisively with evil , in your life and in the life of the world. His death was a sacrifice, and his resurrection a new beginning . Acknowledge that Jesus is the rightful ruler of the world, and commit to follow him and join with Gods people

 

3. LIVE YOUR PART

Followers of Jesus are gospel players in the local communities living out the biblical drama together. But we do not have an exact script for our lines and actions in the drama today. Our history has not yet been written. And we can’t just repeat lines from earlier in the drama. So what do we do?

We read the Bible to understand what God has already done, especially through Jesus the Messiah, and to know how we carry this story forward. The Bible helps us answer the key question about everything we say and do: is this an appropriate and fitting way to live out the story of Jesus today?

This is how we put the scriptures into action. life’s choices can be messy , but God has given us his word and promised us his spirit to guide us in the way.You are God’s artwork, created to do good works. May your life be a gift of beauty back to him.

 

 

 

Mark 15:16-41

The Soldiers Mock Jesus

16 The soldiers led Jesus away into the palace (that is, the Praetorium) and called together the whole company of soldiers. 17 They put a purple robe on him, then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on him. 18 And they began to call out to him, “Hail, king of the Jews!” 19 Again and again they struck him on the head with a staff and spit on him. Falling on their knees, they paid homage to him. 20 And when they had mocked him, they took off the purple robe and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him out to crucify him.

The Crucifixion of Jesus

21 A certain man from Cyrene, Simon, the father of Alexander and Rufus, was passing by on his way in from the country, and they forced him to carry the cross. 22 They brought Jesus to the place called Golgotha (which means “the place of the skull”). 23 Then they offered him wine mixed with myrrh, but he did not take it. 24 And they crucified him. Dividing up his clothes, they cast lots to see what each would get.

25 It was nine in the morning when they crucified him. 26 The written notice of the charge against him read: the king of the jews.

27 They crucified two rebels with him, one on his right and one on his left. [28]  29 Those who passed by hurled insults at him, shaking their heads and saying, “So! You who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days,30 come down from the cross and save yourself!” 31 In the same way the chief priests and the teachers of the law mocked him among themselves. “He saved others,” they said, “but he can’t save himself! 32 Let this Messiah, this king of Israel, come down now from the cross, that we may see and believe.” Those crucified with him also heaped insults on him.

The Death of Jesus

33 At noon, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon. 34 And at three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”).

35 When some of those standing near heard this, they said, “Listen, he’s calling Elijah.”

36 Someone ran, filled a sponge with wine vinegar, put it on a staff, and offered it to Jesus to drink. “Now leave him alone. Let’s see if Elijah comes to take him down,” he said.

37 With a loud cry, Jesus breathed his last.

38 The curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. 39 And when the centurion, who stood there in front of Jesus, saw how he died, he said, “Surely this man was the Son of God!”

40 Some women were watching from a distance. Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James the younger and of Joseph, and Salome. 41 In Galilee these women had followed him and cared for his needs. Many other women who had come up with him to Jerusalem were also there.

 

Christ met death in its greatest terror. It was the death of the vilest malefactors. Thus the cross and the shame are put together. God having been dishonoured by the sin of man, Christ made satisfaction by submitting to the greatest disgrace human nature could be loaded with. The Roman soldiers mocked our Lord Jesus as a King; thus in the high priest’s hall the servants had mocked him as a Prophet and Saviour. Shall a purple or scarlet robe be matter of pride to a Christian, which was matter of reproach and shame to Christ? He wore the crown of thorns which we deserved, that we might wear the crown of glory which he merited. We were by sin liable to everlasting shame and contempt; to deliver us, our Lord Jesus submitted to shame and contempt. He was led forth with the workers of iniquity, though he did no sin. The sufferings of the meek and holy Redeemer, are ever a source of instruction to the believer, of which, in his best hours, he cannot be weary.  Shall I indulge anger, or utter reproaches and threats because of troubles and injuries?

 

The place where our Lord Jesus was crucified, was called the place of a scull; it was the common place of execution; for he was in all respects numbered with the transgressors. Whenever we look unto Christ crucified, we must remember what was written over his head; he is a King, and we must give up ourselves to be his subjects, as Israelites indeed. They crucified two thieves with him, and him in the midst; they thereby intended him great dishonour. But it was foretold that he should be numbered with the transgressors, because he was made sin for us. Even those who passed by railed at him. They told him to come down from the cross, and they would believe; but they did not believe, though he gave them a more convincing sign when he came up from the grave. With what earnestness will the man who firmly believes the truth, as made known by the sufferings of Christ, seek for salvation! With what gratitude will he receive the dawning hope of forgiveness and eternal life, as purchased for him by the sufferings and death of the Son of God! and with what godly sorrow will he mourn over the sins which crucified the Lord of glory!

 

There was a thick darkness over the land, from noon until three in the afternoon. The Jews were doing their utmost to extinguish the Sun of Righteousness. The darkness signified the cloud which the human soul of Christ was under, when he was making it an offering for sin. He did not complain that his disciples forsook him, but that his Father forsook him. In this especially he was made sin for us. When Paul was to be offered as a sacrifice for the service saints, he could joy and rejoice, but it is another thing to be offered as a sacrifice for the sin of sinners. At the same instant that Jesus died, the veil of the temple was split from the top to the bottom. This spoke terror to the unbelieving Jews, and was a sign of the destruction of their church and nation. It speaks comfort to all believing Christians, for it signified the laying open a new and living way into the holiest by the blood of Jesus. The confidence with which Christ had openly addressed God as his Father, and committed his soul into his hands, seems greatly to have affected the centurion. Right views of Christ crucified will reconcile the believer to the thought of death; he longs to behold, love, and praise, as he ought, that Saviour who was wounded and pierced to save him from the wrath to come.

Jesus Christ reigns supreme for ever.

Amen