On the seventh day of Christmas, my Father gave to me, forgiveness from my sins, and then when He sees me, He sees His son who bore my sins for me.
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”I John 1:9
“…as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.” Psalm 103:12
What a gift. Forgiveness. Forgiveness of sins. I don’t deserve it, I’m not worthy of it, but the Father gives it and more importantly Jesus gave it. Gave forgiveness in the form of His death on the cross. Not something we usually think about at Christmas. It doesn’t fit the Hallmark card image of what Christmas is all about. But without the death of Jesus and with out the Father’s turning away from Him as He took on the sin of the world, Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas. The birth is only the beginning. The death and resurrection of Jesus is the true gift of Christmas because through it I have forgiveness of sin.
And, as the verse from Psalm promises, He forgives our sins and forgets them. But do we? If we can’t accept the forgiveness the Father gives us, then we haven’t really accepted the gift Jesus gave us on the cross, have we?
Imagine knowing, even as you agree to become like man, that the final act will be death on a cross. And, imagine loving someone enough to do it anyway. Be born that is. In a manger. To a poor carpenter. Then imagine living your life trying to teach those around you to forgive when they’ve been wronged. They don’t know. But you do.
Even as Peter was asking Jesus about forgiving, Jesus knew. And this is how the Savior replied “Then Peter came and said to Him, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” Jesus *said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.” Matthew 18:21-22. Turn the other cheek. Forgive those who wrong you. Forget their transgressions, and your own.
Because forgiveness is not for the other person. It is for me. When I forgive, I am drawn closer to God. When He forgives me, I am drawn closer still. Forgiveness. Maybe not a normal Christmas gift but one of great value and worth. May our prayer be especially today for forgiveness for those we’ve wronged and for the wrongs we’ve done.
Perhaps Jesus’ greatest gift given on the cross. The taking of my sins and forgiveness. I want to accept this gift anew this Christmas and to be thankful for such a gift as this.