“If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained” (John 20:23).
Forgiving is a divine nature. Refusing to forgive and retaining hatred and zeal is the nature of Satan. If Jesus had not forgiven you whole-heartedly, He would not have come in search of you. Is it not? Did He not reveal His grace and forgive you even though you despised and neglected Him? The Scripture says, “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).
Jesus Christ was made to wear a crown of thorns, was scourged and was pierced with nails. Even while accepting all the reproaches and shame committed against Him by men, He revealed the forgiving love only. “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do” (Luke 23:34). If He can forgive those who tortured Him so cruelly, there cannot be any doubt when saying that He will forgive everyone who comes unto Him.
How many times should one forgive others? You may think that it will be meaningless to forgive unlimitedly. Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him?” His thought was that forgiving a person for seven times will be enough. The number seven denotes perfection. Is it not? Pardoning a person for seven times gives the meaning things are perfect. His thought was that it would be unnecessary to forgive a person for the eighth time.
But, what was the reply of Jesus for this question? The answer of Jesus for this question is that one should forgive up to seventy times seven. Jesus remains as one prepared to forgive even seven lakhs times seven. When one seeks pardon whole-heartedly with tears, and with true repentance, God definitely forgives him.
Some people forgive but will not forget. Even after pardoning, a zeal of bitterness continues to stay at the bottom of their hearts. But God forgets at the time of forgiving itself. He makes a covenant saying, ‘I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.’ He removed our transgressions from us as far as the east is from the west. Though our sins are like a scarlet, He turns them white as snow and makes you happy. Dear children of God, let that nature of forgiving be in youTo meditate: “…For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more” (Jeremiah 31:34).