Man had done his worst. The One by whom the world was made had come into it, but the world knew Him not. The Lord of Glory had tabernacled among men, but He was not wanted. The eyes that sin had blinded saw in Him no beauty that He should be desired. At His birth there was no room in the inn, which foreshadowed the treatment He was to receive at the hands of men. Shortly after His birth, Herod sought to slay Him, and this intimated the hostility His person evoked and forecast the Cross as the climax of man’s enmity. Again and again His enemies attempted His destruction. And now their vile desires are granted them. The Son of God had yielded Himself up into their hands. A mock trial had been gone through, and though His judges found no fault in Him, nevertheless, they had yielded to the insistent clamoring of those who hated Him as they cried again and again, “Crucify him.”
The fell deed had been done. No ordinary death would suffice His implacable foes. A death of intense suffering and shame was decided upon. A cross had been secured; the Saviour had been nailed to it. And there He hangs — silent. But presently His pallid lips are seen to move — Is He crying for pity? No. What then? Is He pronouncing malediction upon His crucifiers? No. He is praying, praying for His enemies — “Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34).
So begins Chapter 1 of The Seven Sayings of the Saviour on the Cross by A.W. Pink. Pink offers seven observations from Jesus’ word of forgiveness. The one that spoke most deeply to me, though, is the last one, “Here we see the triumph of redeeming love.” Not only is God’s forgiveness triumphant, it is complete. It is impossible for me to “sin away” the pardon of God. “The believer is in Christ, and there sin will never again be imputed to us. This is our position before God. In Christ is where He beholds us.”
A reminder of God’s complete forgiveness is a great way to start the day!
I also read this from Of First Importance this morning:
“Because of the gospel’s power, you can be completely free of all condemnation.
Not mostly free; completely free.
Don’t buy the lie that cultivating condemnation and wallowing in your shame is somehow pleasing to God, or that a constant, low-grade guilt will somehow promote holiness and spiritual maturity.
It’s just the opposite! God is glorified when we believe with all our hearts that those who trust in Christ can never be condemned. It’s only when we receive his free gift of grace and live in the good of total forgiveness that we’re able to turn from old, sinful ways of living and walk in grace-motivated obedience.”
From C.J. Mahaney’s The Cross-Centered Life
Thank you, Jesus, for your word of forgiveness.
Read more Reading Classics Together discussion at Challies.