When Jesus was on the cross, he made a request as he spoke to God the Father.
He said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing. This is the reason Jesus had to go to the cross in the first place - so that forgiveness could be available to everyone who would trust in him.
It was the sin of humanity that made it necessary for Jesus to have to go to the cross, and the scriptures teach us that “all have sinned.” It also teaches us “the wages of sin is death,” which means that without forgiveness from God we are lost and will spend eternity far away from God in a place called hell.
Even though forgiveness is offered to all, mankind must come to the place where we accept the fact that we are born sinners and are in need of a Savior, then confess those sins and ask for that forgiveness.
Not only is the forgiveness we receive a necessity but also the forgiveness we offer to others is as well. The command given us is to “forgive one another, as God in Christ forgave you,” according to Ephesians 4:32.
I have heard people say things like, “I can’t forgive someone because you just don’t know what they have done to me.” I respond by saying, “I don’t know what others have done to you but I do know what each one of us has done to hurt God through our sins.”
Another truth is that if we decide to hang onto an unforgiving spirit, then bitterness sets in and we then live out a miserable life. There is true freedom when we choose to forgive.
One last truth is that the “golden rule” applies here where it states, “do unto others as you would have them do to you.” This means that when we offend others through our actions or words, then we want others to be willing to forgive us.
To those of you who are not followers of Jesus, the invitation to accept forgiveness is offered to you and we who are followers of Jesus should follow his example and be willing to offer forgiveness to anyone who seeks it.