transactional forgiveness

It is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins. [Hebrews 10:4 NIV]

I think that it is not unusual for humans to make forgiveness a transaction. We do not want it to be free. We want to do something to earn it. The whole Jewish sacrificial system is built around this idea of offering sacrifices to be forgiven. Some even see the cross in this light.

In contrast to this concept, a bruised and beaten Messiah cries out from the cross “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” This intercession destroyed the whole idea of transactional forgiveness. In a few words God the Son showed us what it means to forgive.

In its purist sense forgiveness is a gift that we give each other. We do it with no expectations. With open hands and hearts we choose to embrace the one forgiven as if they had not sinned against us. There is no act more divine. Nothing greater that shows our love for God and each other.

Lord. Help me to forgive. Help me to release the past and walk in forgiveness.

... this devotion is part of a series from the book of Hebrews.

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