Malankara World

Today with Jesus

Forgiveness

by Rev. Fr. V.V. Paulose, Toronto, Canada

Today's Bible Verse

Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing."

Discussion

Is it an utterance from the mouth of a defeated and failed hopeless person?

Forgiveness is the hope to open the gate of flood of blessings, salvation prosperity and whatever a person needs. There is no one in this world as holy as Jesus who does not forgive the wrongs of others. Jesus asked God to forgive the people who were putting him to death - the Jewish leaders, Roman politicians and soldiers - and God answered that prayer by opening up salvation even to Jesus’ murderers. The ignorance about the efficacy and the context of this saying have led to the massacre of millions of Jewish people and Semitic hatred all over the world from the first century onwards.

Recently, Pope Benedict V1, in his new book ‘Jesus of Nazareth’, has rectified and corrected the century old misconception of the blame on Jewish community as a whole and the curse on them for the death of Jesus instead of forgiveness, love and prayer. Jesus was suffering the most horrible, painful death ever devised by sinful man, and looked at the people responsible for his suffering and prayed for their forgiveness. The Roman Officer and soldiers who witnessed the crucifixion said, "This man truly was the son of God." Soon many priests were converted to the Christian faith.

Because we are all sinners, we all played a part in putting Jesus to death. The good news is that God is gracious. He will forgive us and give us new life through his son.

Dr Boris Kornfield was a prisoner in Siberia. His expertise was used by the authorities to treat the patients. One day, while repairing a guard’s artery, which had been cut by a knife wound, he seriously considered stitching the wound in a way that would cause the guard to bleed to death. Shocked by his own hatred and bitterness, he quietly said the words from the Lord’s prayer, "Forgive us for our sins, just as we have forgiven those who have sinned against us."

Weeks later, Dr. Kornfield was examining a patient who just had surgery for cancer. Aware of something in this man, Kornfield retold the story of the earlier incident. He shared his secret faith of forgiveness with the patient. That night the doctor was killed by someone who had sneaked into his sleeping quarters. But his confession did not die. The patient who had heard it became a Christian to tell the world the efficacy of forgiveness. The patient was the Christian writer ALEXANDER SOLZHENITSYN.

"I Even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more" (Isaiah 43:25).

"Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus" (Romans 8:1).

Do we, the earthly beings with heavenly spirit, have anything that keeps us from forgiving others? If so, then it is truly pitiable.

Prayer

Jesus, forgive all our trespasses and give us your spirit and stay with us. We pray for the noble soul of Dr Kornfield and the souls of all the people who are in the world of forgiveness. Let us come to your feet for forgiveness of our sins. Let us forgive all the wrongs of others starting from our homes, churches, jobs, and the enemies till the end. All we ask in the name of Jesus. Amen.

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