Forgiveness as Resurrection

Jesus was not the first person to be raised from the dead.

forgivenessHis disciples had seen Lazarus walk out of a tomb after being dead for four days. They had seen Jesus lift a dead boy out of his coffin and back into life.

But as amazing as those things were, they did not affect the disciples the way the resurrection of Jesus did. Seeing the resurrected Christ changed His followers dramatically. They became obsessed with the resurrection of Christ. The resurrection  became the basis for their faith and the driving force for their lives.

The resurrection of Christ is absolutely unique in all of history:

Others were raised from the dead, but Jesus Christ raised Himself.[i]

He defeated death from within.

Before He died, Jesus made this startling prediction: “Destroy this temple [that is, my body], and in three days I will raise it up” (John 2:19-22, NIV). Jesus told His disciples, “No one takes [my life] from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again” (John 10:18, NIV).

forgiveness

Christ chose to walk into death and then to walk back out, demonstrating a power greater than the power of death. Lazarus and others were given a temporary reprieve from death: they were retrieved from death for a while, but then they died again.

But Christ won more than a postponement; He actually conquered death. He faced it head-on and completely dominated it.

The core of our faith, just like that of the early believers, is the Resurrection of Christ. Death is the fierce power of our sin, but there is a power that is even greater: the purity, the deity, and the love of Christ constitute an absolutely unsurpassed power.

We sometimes fear that forgiving means surrender or passivity. Nothing could be farther from the truth:

Forgiveness is looking evil in the eye, calling it what it is, and then proclaiming victory.

Forgiveness rises taller and stronger than the evil that came against it. It removes the “sting” of evil by removing the harm from the hurt[ii]. It removes the poison of bitterness and the curse of resentment.
forgivenessWhen we are hurt by others, we experience something like a death: there is a kind of grieving, perhaps the ending of a relationship as it had been, and there may even be—as Lazarus’ sister pointed out—a “bad smell” to the whole affair. But forgiveness says, “This is not the end of the story.”

After His crucifixion, the body of Christ was placed in a borrowed tomb, not His own. Similarly, forgiving involves walking into someone else’s evil, not our own. We stand for a moment in the dark “tomb” of someone else’s sin, but then, like Christ, we choose to walk out into the garden, where the Spirit makes all things new.AAM8X0DRXY

This is why Christ-followers must forgive:

Forgiveness is the Resurrection again.

A49952BF7AForgiveness is first the Cross raised as an identifying banner over us. Forgiveness is then the Resurrection, demonstrating the power of the Spirit of God within us. He brings the power to obliterate evil and to transform ashes into beauty.

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When given the opportunity to forgive, we can respond to our debtors with these truths in our hearts:

You hurt me, but I will not hurt you back.

My willingness to forgive you is my willingness for God to forgive me.

When God poured out the riches of His grace to me, He included all the grace that I would need to pass on to you.

I do not seek your punishment. I seek your redemption and your healing.

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How has forgiveness brought Resurrection power into your life?

Blessings to you,
Tami

{Read Part One of this series here: A Spiritual WMD.
Read Part Two here: Forgiveness as Self-Help?
And read Part Three here: Forgiveness: A Power Way to Hold Out the Cross.}

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[i] The Resurrection was an awesome performance of the Trinity, the Son acting in concert with the Father (Galatians 1:1) and the Spirit (Romans 8:11).
[ii] 1 Corinthians 15:55

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4 thoughts on “Forgiveness as Resurrection

  1. Your depth of insight and application of Scripture in this context is soul-inspiring! I have never thought of forgiveness in this way. Thank you for allowing the Holy Spirit to speak into and then out of you.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Love this message of “pressing” into the bosom of Christ while reaching out to those who have hurt or wronged us in some way. It is only through Him that we are able to forgive anything at all. We do not hold any kind of title to unforgiveness because, we have no ability to wash away anyones wrong doing.
    Forgiveness is a choice that we enter into as through the risen Lord Jesus, being reminded of all of OUR wrongs and debts we committed against Him that He lovingly and willingly bore in every stripe and beating that He bore for us just the day before.
    That sure puts anything anyone else does to us in perspective.
    Chip Ingram sees Forgiveness as a process that we sometimes have to go through. Steps, towards totally being able to say that the hurt caused by someone/thing against us is FORGIV(EN).
    Forgive- The initial choice to be obediant and extend that act of “pardon” even if we don’t feel it.
    Forgiving- The daily choice to actively forgive as the hurt and/or angry thoughts come into our minds.
    This will be the daily going to the Lord in prayer and laying each offense down and asking for the right heat to leave it there and live that out in our daily lives.
    Forgiven- This is when all the hurt,pain, and anger is finally washed away as we have taken under the flow of the cross daily and can pray for and even talk with the person that offered us. This is where we have “LET GO.” We now live free of the weight of the unforgiveness that once imprisoned US. This is a strange mystery. But, OH, what a liberating END!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you, Angie, for sharing these helpful insights. I appreciate your good reminder that forgiveness is often a process; if we don’t realize that, we can easily be discouraged.
    Thank you for the spiritual power that you are allowing God to unleash through your obedience, Angie.

    Like

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