I’ve heard some say, “I don’t get mad, I get even.” The saying is a little humorous, but some actually feel this way. It is unfortunate to live a life that wants to get even, for it is the seed of anger, and when that seed is in full bloom it consumes a lot of one’s energy to sustain it. In the end anger hurts us more than it hurts the person we are angry at, for it affects our relationships, actions, and outlook on life. Therefore, it’s quite cathartic to let go of one’s anger towards another.
Jesus was asked, “How many times should I forgive someone? Up to Seven times?” Jesus replied, “Seven times seventy.” How could anyone count that many forgive-nesses? I think Jesus’ point was forgiveness is not simply tolerating another person, but it’s having a desire for real, personal, and loving forgiveness between individuals. Jesus demands such an attitudes from his followers because unlimited forgiveness ultimately points others toward God’s forgiveness of them.
I know what you’re thinking, “What about this case, and that case, and what if the person does this or that to me?” I am quite aware of all the contingencies that we live under, but I also know that God takes care of his saints, and oftentimes we just have to trust God to work some-things out, and to protect us. Thus we learn to let God take care of the details while we forgive others.
Jesus commissioned the apostles to go to the lost sheep of Israel and proclaim, “The kingdom is at hand,” (Matt. 10:7). Our commission today is a bit different, for it is to, “All the world” (28:19-20). Our message is the Gospel, or the good news. The good news is: Jesus died for our sins, He rose from the dead, and the Kingdom of Heaven is not at hand, but it has actually begun. The King has come, He suffered, died, and rose from the dead. He now offers His salvation to all who will believe.
This message is important because we live in an age where many are looking for something that makes sense in this world. Ravi Zacharias correctly said, “We are looking for a coherent world view to live by. People are looking for answers to: Why is there evil, where do we find justice, where do we find love, and where do we find forgiveness: Evil, justice, love and forgiveness.” There is only one place in all of history where the answers to these four questions converged, and that was on a hill called Calvary.
We don’t need more wisdom – thought wisdom is good. We don’t need more education – though education is good. We don’t need another well speaking leader, or a larger cathedral. The world needs a savior, and as Christians we know that savior is Jesus Christ, and we are commissioned to tell this to others.
Today people are seeking absolute answers to their questions. The word absolute means, “Excellent in quality or nature.” The Christian apologist Ravi Zacharias points out four questions we seek absolute answers to: Evil, justice, love, and forgiveness. Evil, how do we define and explain it? Justice, what is just and unjust? Love, what is love; is it brotherly, godly, or erotica? What is forgiveness? We hurt someone, and ask them to forgive us.
Our search for life’s answers is complicated by a world of changing truths. Against this world, we open the Bible and read the unchanging Word of God. From the Bible we learn there is only one place in the world where the answers to these four absolutes converged at one moment, and that is at Calvary. The evil of the world was thrown upon Jesus Christ. The justice of God was executed. The love of God displayed through his Son. The forgiveness of God was heard in the Sons words, “Father forgive them for they no not what they have done.”
Embodied in the crucifixion and displayed on the cross are God’s answers to the absolutes questions of evil, justice, love, and forgiveness that man searches for.