Forgiveness: Pay It Forward
The Lord said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, “This month shall be for you the beginning of months. It shall be the first month of the year for you. Exodus 12:1-2
And should not you have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you?’ And in anger his master delivered him to the jailers, until he should pay all his debt. So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother from your heart.” Matthew 18:33-35
God created time. He also instructed His people to observe certain periodic days to remember important events and the theological truths connected with those events. The Passover was one of those events. God commanded that it be observed annually and that it coincide with the New Year.
The Passover definitively set apart the Israelites from the Egyptians. The blood of unblemished lambs marked the homes of those who believed and distinguished them from those who did not. The blood protected the inhabitants of those homes from death. The lamb paid the price and the people were saved.
Christ, too, paid the price as the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world, our Passover lamb (John 1:29; I Corinthians 5:7). Just as the ancient Israelites celebrated their deliverance from slavery by an annual Passover celebration, we as God’s people today celebrate corporately, by the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper or Communion. We are remembering the fulfillment of a greater Lamb whose offering made a once-for-all atonement for sin.
Think about it
Imagine being in an Israelite home in Egypt on the night of the Passover. You have placed the blood of a lamb on the doorposts. You wait inside trusting that the blood will protect your firstborn son from the angel of death. What relief when the angel passes over your house and you are safe. That is a graphic picture of what God has done for us who trust in the Lamb of God to take away our sins and deliver us from deserved death. Will we not forgive as we have been forgiven? Paul admonished the Christians in Ephesus: “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32
The deliverance and forgiveness which Jesus Christ obtained for us ought to be manifested in lives of forgiveness towards others. Be vigilant to show grace and mercy toward those who owe you, not as the unforgiving servant in Jesus’ parable.