Have you ever felt like you just aren’t worthy of forgiveness?
If so, there are two stories about love and forgiveness that you need to hear.
And perhaps that’s the whole point.
Some believe their actions are unforgivable. They think they’ve gone too far and aren’t able to receive forgiveness.
Then there are those who believe no one should need forgiveness.
But from the very start, forgiveness was needed.
In the beginning, God created the earth in all His perfection. He created male and female in His image and likeness. But one day, a serpent came and deceived the woman into believing she could be like God. She convinced man to do the same.
Immediately their eyes became opened.
From this point on, sin entered the world and a remedy was needed to heal people from this state.
God sent His son, born of a woman, to save us from our inevitable sins. The day after celebrating Passover with his disciples, Jesus, the son of God, was crucified.
Crucifixion, at the time, was the cruelest form of punishment. But He was sent to die for the sins of all men.
By dying on the cross, mankind would not be subjected to the punishment of sin if they asked for forgiveness from their sins.
And two stories from the Bible make His love and forgiveness clear to all of us.
In the first story, a young man asked his father for all his inheritance.
His father gave it to him and the young man set off. For months, the young man spends all his money on the pleasures of this world.
Finally, with great regret, he realizes the destruction he has caused. And with great shame, he walks home unsure how is father will respond.
Surely he did not deserve to be received by his father whom he abandoned for a life of sin and whose life savings he squandered.
Yet, as his father saw him in the distance, he ran towards him with tears in his eyes and welcomed him with a warm embrace.
This warm embrace came to a shock to the son. However, the father, knowing how much he loved his son, forgave him!
He forgave all his actions and the squandering of his inheritance as if it never happened.
Furthermore, the father ordered that a fatted calf be slaughtered and prepared for a grand feast to celebrate the return of his son!
The father loved the son so much that the only thing he cared about was having him back, even if he was not worthy of his father’s forgiveness.
During this time in society, what the young man did would have been considered unforgivable.
But this is the same love that God has for you.
He loves you so much He just wants you back even if you are not worthy of His forgiveness.
The second story illustrates this same love in a different way.
As Jesus was teaching a crowd, the teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought out a woman caught in the act of adultery.
The Pharisees and teachers of the law presented Jesus with a question, ”This woman was caught in the act of adultery. The law of Moses says to stone her. What do you say?”
He replied, “All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!”
Slowly they all walked away. Jesus said to her, “Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?”
“No, Lord,” she said.
And Jesus said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.” From that moment on she became one of Christ’s most loyal followers.
Jesus so loved this woman that He forgave her even though she was not worthy of it.
Jesus came to save. He taught forgiveness. He challenged the law of man.
So while it may be true that you are not worthy of forgiveness… it doesn’t matter because God’s love is greater!