As Easter is approaching, we begin to think further about Jesus’ death on the cross. We think about His suffering. We think about the forgiveness He offers to us. We messed up. We sinned. Jesus was perfect and did no wrong, but He took our place on the cross. He offered us forgiveness for our sins and wrongdoings.
When we hammer nails into the wall, we hear the clink clink clang clang of the hammer on the nails. That’s the sound Jesus heard as they were nailing his hands and feet to the cross. He was human so he felt the pain and torture. But he didn’t try to get out of the punishment … our punishment. He did it for us. He endured the pain for us.
When we think about forgiveness, the forgiveness Jesus offers to us is free to us. It cost Jesus His life.
When we need to forgive others, what are the costs? Do we offer forgiveness to others are readily as Jesus did for us?
The Scriptures say: Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, ‘Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?’ Jesus answered, ‘I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.'”(Matthew 18:21-22)
Fill a small cup about half full of water. Drop an Alka-Seltzer tablet in the water. Watch the tablet fizzle and dissolve in the water. It takes about 77 seconds for it to dissolve. That is about as long as it should take us to forgive others for something they say or do to us. We should be able to forgive others in about 77 seconds. Can you forgive that quickly? Can you let things go in 77 seconds?
It may depend on the offense or what someone said or did to you, but 77 seconds comes nowhere near how Jesus forgave us and took our place for our sins. He endured way more than 77 seconds of pain and torture on the cross for us. The least we can do is talk to others and give them a chance. Whatever we think they did or said to us is nowhere near as bad as what Jesus had to go through on our behalf.
The next time you hear a hammer on nails think about Jesus and His forgiveness for us. It’s only 77 seconds.