Then Peter came and said to him, “Lord, if another member of the church sins against me, how often should I forgive? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “Not seven times, but, I tell you, seventy-seven times.
Jesus was a hard man.
Took no prisoners.
Called a spade a spade.
Didn't let folk waffle.
Was highly sensitive to hypocrisy
and spoke some harsh truth.
But when he spoke of forgiveness
and then went on
to practice what he preached,
he raised the bar
way beyond what most of us
are capable of reaching.
And it's not just about ability.
It's about the will to forgive.
I'd rather go on living with resentment
than roll over and forgive
I'd rather hold on to that edge of anger
than gather the energy
to have another go at building a bridge.
The work of forgiveness
demands too much energy.
It seems easier just to move on
and chalk it up to experience.
But Jesus was a hard man.
He didn't simply roll over.
He didn't simply smile sweetly
and allow others
to go on hurting,
to go on betraying.
He lifted forgiveness up to God
in an agonising cry:
And, if we can do no other...
If the time for building bridges is past.
If the time for enduring more hurt has expired.
We call on God to do the work that we can't.
And we move on -
perhaps a tiny bit broken
and certainly scarred.
And we find our healing
in the love and forgiveness of God.