Friday, February 10, 2017

It's Messy

Isaiah 53:5
New Century Version

But he was wounded for the wrong we did;
    he was crushed for the evil we did.
The punishment, which made us well, was given to him,
    and we are healed because of his wounds.
Forgiveness.  It is such a gargantuan word at times.  I have sometimes wondered why it can be so hard to do and feel!  In the archives of this blog, I have more than once expressed my struggle with forgiving and loving those whom I have felt hurt by.  It goes against the grain (aka human nature) to forgive.  It really doesn't make a lot of sense most of the time. 
I would say that our innate desire to protect and preserve ourselves is the reason forgiveness can be so hard, sometimes seeming completely impossible.  It takes humility to forgive, because it means we have to let go of our justified feelings or perspective.  And that can hurt like crazy - I know!
When Jesus came to earth, gave Himself on the cross because of our sins, when He took the punishment we deserved, He was extended to all of us forgiveness, in anticipation that we would need it!  Now, rewind in your mind to the cross itself.  This is where He did what He needed to do so that we can at any time, any place, any reason, ask Him to forgive us.  The cross was messy.  He had to humble Himself.  It was a bloody, gory, painful, uncomfortable, an "against the grain" thing to do.  Yet He did it because He was looking way ahead in time, even at me, and saw that I would need it, and He wanted a relationship with me - and you.  So, He paid the cost.  He thought it was worth it.
When we forgive, it can be painful.  It is ultimately the laying down of our own selves - our feelings, our rights, our perspective - hurts just thinking about it, right?  We may not have to experience the cross in order to forgive, but we can understand that forgiveness comes with cost.  It's messy.  But it's worth it.