In reading the Gospels, one cannot help being awed by the miracles of Jesus Christ. As was reported to John the Baptist, we see on every page that, “The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is preached to the poor.” (Matthew 11:5) There is, however, one miracle that stands above them all—the divine act of the forgiveness of our sins.
Forgiveness is not normal. As human beings, our natural reaction to hurt or pain is retaliation, revenge, and a grudge. Storied feuds like the Hatfields and McCoys have played out between neighbors, coworkers, and nations since Cain and Abel (Genesis 4). Forgiveness is not the hallmark of fallen man, but of the divine nature of Jehovah, which is why the forgiveness of God jumps off the page and takes hold of our hearts. We know that we are seeing acts of divine love (Exodus 34:6-7).
We are utterly incapable of undoing our sin. In the age of reset buttons, reboots, and the ability to hit “refresh” when things go wrong, we are used to finding quick fixes to our mistakes and glitches. In matters of the soul? Not so much. There is no way to unspeak a harsh word, to untell a lie, or to pretend an abuse, a war, or a theft did not really happen. As Shakespeare’s Hamlet reminds us, we cannot simply wash our hands of sin’s stains. In our sin, we are in need of divine intervention.
This is where God works His greatest miracle. What we could not remove, God washes away (Hebrews 10:19-22). What we could not atone, He atones (Romans 3:21-26). Perhaps most astounding of all, He loved us before we loved Him back, and worked for our redemption while we were still holding grudges (Romans 5:6-8). Praise God!
Praise the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. According to His great mercy, He has given us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead 4 and into an inheritance that is imperishable, uncorrupted, and unfading, kept in heaven for you. 5 You are being protected by God’s power through faith for a salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. – I Peter 2:3-5
(This article was originally written for the May/June issue of Christ for Today)