Forgiveness… how often do we hear this spoken of in some form or fashion? We are reminded in God’s word that if we do not forgive others He will not forgive us. It is a compelling and perhaps even horrifying statement for those who hold unforgiveness in their hearts. Yet sometimes we wrestle with our own warped sense of justice. Sometimes our hearts cry out for pay back and even blood. Yet we are reminded in God’s Word that our hearts are wicked and deceitful.
We pick up sacks and drape them over our shoulders. Each time we dwell in the pain and refuse to forgive it is essentially as though we are stooping over, picking up a brick and placing it in our sack. At first we hardly notice it, it’s barely a burden at all. But as time goes on the bricks multiply. Our sacks grow heavy and we grow weary. If we do not surrender them, we will eventually collapse under the weight of our burdens.
Jesus knew what unforgiveness would do to our hearts. He knew the toll that it would take. He knew the heavy burdens that we would carry in our sacks. This is just one more reason that he invites the weary and heavy laden to come to Him.
We do not have to carry these burdens. We do not have to carry these bags full of bricks. We do not have to remain stooped over beneath the weight of so much pain. Unforgiveness takes captives but Jesus sets men free.
You may say, “But you don’t understand.” You may say, “But you have not seen what they have done to me. I am bruised and scarred. I am broken and battered. I have been wounded with the most egregious of intent.” Jesus understands. He has the scars in His hands, on His feet and in His side to prove it. He endured the shame of the cross for your wrongs. He took the lashes from the whip, the crown of thorns placed upon His head, the spitting, the mocking and ultimately the cross for the sins that you have committed against God. Yet in acceptance of this selfless act you have received forgiveness and you have been given the freedom to forgive others. Whom the Son sets free is free indeed!
I declare on this day that you are free to forgive others of their sins against you.
I declare on this day empty sacks and full hearts.
I declare on this day that you can approach the foot of the cross and lay all your burdens down.
Rejoice for you have been forgiven!
~ Mitch Salmon
Mitch Salmon is a follower of Jesus Christ and proclaimer of the Good News – The Gospel of Christ Jesus!