Our CORE series continues this week with the topic of FORGIVENESS. The key texts are Psalm 51:1-12 and John 20:19-23.
King David wrote the Psalm after he had been busted by the prophet Nathan for his affair with Bathsheba and the murder of her husband. Would you be willing to forgive a man who used his power to seduce a woman, get her pregnant, then have her husband killed to cover it up? David was broken by his sin, and then he owned it, presented it to God, and asked that God would create a new and clean heart within him. God did. In fact, God called David “a man after his own heart.” Why? I believe the reason David was revered in this way was because of his honesty to God (definitely not because of his flawless reputation).
The second passage is John’s version of Pentecost. Jesus has been raised from the dead and he appears to his followers. He breathes the Holy Spirit on them, gently, not with fiery tongues and earthquakes. Then he says, “whomever you forgive of their sins, they are forgiven. Whomever you retain their sins, they are retained.” This is traditionally called the office of the keys. Doesn’t that seem like a lot of power?
Here’s the “key” regarding forgiveness. The Greek word is aphieimi (ah-fee-ay-mee) and it means let it go. Yes, Disney Frozen fans, start singing! When we hold on to sin it becomes a prison. When we forgive, we are set free. The way God works forgiveness and freedom is through how we treat each other. Forgiveness is the key to freedom.
Here’s a video I made about this for The Journey. Enjoy.