It’s the fiercest rule of our culture: the greater the injury—the deeper the wound—the less likely that forgiveness will ever—ever—be offered.
When a friend forgets a lunch appointment or a colleague fails to meet a crucial deadline, we find a grudging grace to overlook the infraction. But if the angry words are public; if the damage done is measured in broken buildings or broken bones, our interest in forgiveness disappears.
We are so fortunate that God’s ways aren’t like ours. According to the Scriptures, we’re all complicit in the greatest injury to God the world has ever devised—the crucifixion of His Son. It was our sins—large and small, deliberate and impulsive—that whipped and beat Him, drove the nails, and pushed that thorny crown on Him. We mocked and taunted Him as He hung dying.
And yet, “God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation” (2 Cor 5:19). Amazingly, “God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through Him” (John 3:17).
Forgiveness flows from God’s amazing grace. We first receive it; then practice it; then glory in it, for we are saved by it.