Archive for July 9, 2012

Dr. Robi’s Teaching 7, July, 2012: Forgiveness

John 11:1-44.
This is a well known story of the resurrection of Lazarus.
Lazarus was initially sick but Lord Jesus did not immediately come to heal him.
He waited until Lazarus passed away. Then, He visited his tomb to resurrect him.
The death of Lazarus may represent the death of a relationship.
Just like God brought him back to life, God can resurrect any dead relationship.
There are three interesting points here:

1.) Thomas was willing to go with Lord Jesus even though it might mean certain death.
Even when the relationship seems dead, as long as we are willing to give it a try, there is still hope for it.

2.) Lord Jesus wept. He really loved Lazarus.
When a relationship gives us feeling, be it joy or sadness, there is still hope for it.
However, when we feel numb about it, then there is no more hope for it.

3.) The big stone. Lord Jesus asked their participation in the miracle by moving the boulder.
He could have sent lightning to break open the stone. Yet, He wanted the people to do their part.
Boulder removal represents forgiveness. As long as we are willing to forgive, God will do the miracle.

What is forgiveness?

1.) It means we let go, releasing it into God’s hand.
The longer we hold on the pain, the more poisonous it becomes.
While forgiveness can happen in an instance, the healing process might take time.

2.) It is a sacrifice.
We give up the desire for revenge.
Whenever the painful memory comes, we should praise God as praise has the power to overcome it.

3.) Forgiveness involves trust.
We trust God to bring justice between us and the perpetrators.

4.) Forgiveness is a gift without any string attached.
The perpetrator does not have to apologize or even to be alive.

What is forgiveness NOT?

1.) It does not excuse the perpetrators.
After all, God will bring justice.

2.) It does not require us to befriend the perpetrators.
We can still respect them without befriending them.

3.) It does not require us to continue to be abused.
We can forgive them from distance. If the perpetrators change their behavior, the relationship can still continue.

4.) It does not require us to forget the offense (unless we get dementia or something).
The painful memory will always come even without our effort to recall it.
However, whenever it comes, we make conscious effort to let it go.
We can still remember what happened but it will not affect our future.

Matt 6:14-15.
God has invited us to imitate Him, to be part of His family.
As He is the forgiving God, so should we be forgiving to others.
However, the moment we choose not to forgive, we actually refuse to be part of His family.
Hence, God will not extend forgiveness to us as we essentially reject Himself.

Posted July 9, 2012 by Jefri Yue Fei 吴岳飞 in Sermon

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