When Jesus died on the cross, He cried, “It is finished!” It was not the scream of a victim, but the shout of a victor—not resignation, but jubilation. This expression is rich in meaning. It was the word used to declare a prisoner was free to go. It was used by a soldier to state the battle is over. The term meant to set sail for a mariner and to unyoke the oxen for a farmer. To the merchant it said, “The debt is paid in full!”
Our debt is paid. Jesus died so that we may be forgiven.
Still the possibility of forgiveness is conditional—we must receive it. But, there is another condition—I must extend it. If I want to be forgiven, then I must be willing to forgive. Consider the following story.
A visiting professor giving a lecture on stress management, raised
a glass of water and asked the audience, “How heavy do you think this
glass of water is?”
The students answered in a range of very light to 2 pounds. Someone even shouted an ounce and a half!
The professor ignited their curiosity when he said no matter what weight you think the glass of water is—it doesn't matter! He went on with his explanation, “The absolute weight does not matter. It depends on how long you hold it. If I hold this glass of water at arms length for one minute—I'm OK. If I hold it for an hour—an ache will appear in my arm. If I hold it for a day—call 911 and ask them to expedite an ambulance. The weight of the glass of water never changes but the longer I hold it—the heavier it becomes.”
He continued, “un-forgiveness at the moment of confrontation is of no account, but if I hold on to un-forgiveness for a day it begins to drag me down. If I carry un-forgiveness for a month, year or a lifetime I will not be able to carry it—the burden will become increasingly heavier day after day. Like the glass of water that I had to let go to find relief from pain—to find relief from un-forgiveness I must let it
Jesus definitely said it best in Luke, “Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us.”
Are you trying to extract that last pound of flesh from someone who has hurt you, disappointed you, and that perhaps unwittingly? Let it go. Release them of the debt. They’ll be glad—and so will you.