Complete Forgiveness!

Easter is the time when I realize afresh just how much it cost God that I could be forgiven. He gave his only begotten Son, sent Him to die a terrible death, turned His back on Him, and allowed Him to suffer the deepest of agony and humiliation, that as undeserving sinners each one of us could be forgiven for all our sin. Not only the past but the future sins as well. Amazing!!!
Of course, we know now that Jesus did not stay dead, but that did not make His suffering any less or the shame of carrying my sin any easier for Jesus to bear. But again, it makes our lives so much better when we can know Jesus now and have a relationship with Him, even while still on this earth!! Again, amazing and awesome!!
Before Jesus could pay the price of our sins, He had to bear the shame and the weight of these sins even though He never committed them. Therefore, before we can know His complete forgiveness of our sins, we need to acknowledge that we have sinned. So often, this is not the case! When a person is asked if they want to accept Jesus, some people say they do without ever being convicted of the sins they have committed. I don’t believe it is possible to fully repent of sins that we haven’t even admitted to ourselves.
As a younger Christian, it used to puzzle me how it was that a drunkard or addict who was wonderfully saved, could turn so easily away from alcohol or drugs, yet someone who knew and understood their need to trust Jesus could still dabble in pornography or have trouble giving up smoking etc. But eventually, I understood that those who get saved from a deeply sinful life, know what they are, accept responsibility for all they’ve done, and realising the enormity of their sin, they lay it down gladly at His feet. They are indeed made into new creations when they accept His offer of salvation!
I also believe that is why, instead of living victorious Christian lives, so many of us live in fear, because of never having accepted responsibility for what we have done. We lose out on so much of what God has in store for us, so much of what He wants to bless us with and do through us, because we don’t acknowledge our guilt and wrongdoing, and asking Him to remove that sin from our lives forever. He has promised to do just that, to remove our sins far from us and has even chosen to remember them no more. Those of us who have been privileged to sit under the sound of the Gospel, in church and at home for most of our lives, need to realize that it was our sins that nailed Him to the tree, and even if there had only been our sins, Jesus would still have had to die the same death to save us!
I have met many believers who have fallen again into sin, but, who after a period of time come back and try to continue from where they left off. But the spark is missing! The joy of the Lord is clouded by fear of further wrong doing, as they seem to be still living in shame. Is it because the sin was dealt with too lightly, without them really accepting responsibility for their actions? Sin costs and sin leaves consequences behind. Jesus bears the scars of sin and the cross for eternity, not because He had to, but He chose to that we don’t have to. Accept responsibility, make things right with those who have been wronged, if possible, and then lay the sin down at His feet for ever. That way the joy will return and He will give beauty for ashes and the oil of joy for sadness.
One aspect of being completely forgiven is that we can also be forgiven by those we have wronged, but that is not possible if we don’t, up front, acknowledge our sin. As a believer, even if the other person doesn’t want to be forgiven or doesn’t realize the need for forgiveness, we are still required to forgive to keep us from bitterness, to enhance our maturity in Christ and deepen our relationship with God. Likewise, as the person who has done wrong, we are expected to go to the one wronged, and ask their forgiveness, before we can know complete freedom and once again experience the joy of the Lord and the fullness of the Holy Spirit at work in our lives.
What a cost it was for Christ to die, but what an undeserved Salvation we have because He was willing!!!! Because the debt was paid in full, we can have total freedom in this life, not waiting till we get to Heaven, but trusting in His paid penalty every day!!! Happy Easter!

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