What Forgiveness Requires
Open Your Bible
Hebrews 9:16-28, John 10:10, 2 Timothy 1:8-10
Scripture Reading: Hebrews 9:16-28, John 10:10, 2 Timothy 1:8-10
What is the cost of forgiveness?
I can forgive my husband for forgetting to feed the dogs and it costs me nothing. I can forgive someone for hurting my child, but it costs me a little more. I can even forgive the person who has hurt me most in this world, and it still costs me only the decision to forgive, even if I have to make the decision again and again. But what good does my forgiveness render? Certainly peace for me, and possibly some kind of peace for the one I forgive.
Our forgiveness is vitally important, but there is a greater forgiveness that changes everything. Our forgiveness doesn’t actually yield eternal pardon for the offender, and that’s why it doesn’t cost us much. But in order to actually pay for one transgression of God’s law, someone has to literally die. That’s the deal. The wages of sin is actual death (Romans 6:23). A sacrifice must be made. But the sacrifice has to be totally without sin, so none of us can just valiantly die for our own sins. We need a sinless sacrifice.
Our forgiveness is only possible because Christ is that sinless sacrifice.
Now, because sin has been paid for, we have life and joy abundantly. By sacrificing Himself, He has removed our sins (Hebrews 9:26). When Christ comes again, He will come bringing the fulfillment of our salvation: everlasting life in glory.
This passage in Hebrews 9 seems to be about establishing the justice and legality of what Christ did. It is delivered in covenantal and transactional terms. Why? It is important to know that what Christ did, He did rightly. He didn’t cut corners, or sweep sin under the rug. He dealt with it fully, fairly, finally. Because of this, we can have great assurance and security in Christ. When Satan attempts to undermine our faith with doubt, we can lean on our righteousness of Christ. His payment for sin is fully sufficient. His grace is greater than all our sin, and nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus.
The writer of Hebrews further his point with a comparison. The first covenant was also inaugurated with blood (v.18). But all the blood of bulls and goats could not fully satisfy the demands of justice. The blood of animals was sprinkled on the earthly tabernacle and its furnishings. But the blood of Christ, the only perfect and sufficient sacrifice, has purified even the heavenly things (v.23). His payment for our sin has paid our debt from the depths of earth to the heights of heaven.
Forgiveness requires the shedding of blood. And Christ’s blood has been shed for us.
What then can man do to us? What can Satan say to topple such a salvation? Thanks be to God, we are secure in Christ. When Christ returns, we are told, He will come, not to pay a further debt (all our sins have been paid for!), but to bring salvation (v.28). Praise the Lord!
Rebecca Faires loves the gospel story and needs it every morning when she wakes up to her five little people. Rebecca holds a bachelor’s degree in German from Hillsdale College, and most recently worked as the managing editor and writer at She Reads Truth. She now works from her log cabin in the hills of Tennessee, writing and illustrating books with her favorite mountain man. There she enjoys porch-sitting as it rains, reading the Oxford English Dictionary, and getting in way over her head. She is expecting her sixth baby and her first book in February of 2019.