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Devotional: January 21, 2022

I want you to know, my very dear friends, that it is on account of this resurrected Jesus that the forgiveness of your sins can be promised. He accomplishes, in those who believe, everything that the Law of Moses could never make good on.

Acts 13: 37-38 The Message

I was driving into Ephrata the other day when I saw a large billboard. Some jewelry was pictured on it, along with the phrase, “Finally, she forgives you!” Obviously, the jewelry store which put up the sign is playing on the need that some woman has for someone in her life to beg her for forgiveness…. finally! “Need forgiveness? Buy some jewelry!”

The billboard also implies that that a person (I imagine a guy) has perhaps exhausted every other attempt at forgiveness: perhaps a card, a gesture, flowers, and even maybe candy. Yet none of those methods have worked.

Unfortunately, this billboard is not telling the whole truth. For one thing, there is no guarantee that another person will forgive you, no matter how much jewelry you buy! Yet it does get at the concept that forgiveness is not free. It also reminds us that forgiveness is something we all truly desire. We want to be free from the burden of things we have done by admitting to them, and receiving those loving and comforting words, “you are forgiven”.

Here, the physician Luke (author of the Book of Acts) points to Jesus as the reason why our sins can be forgiven. He also reminds us that other methods of forgiveness were tried (like following the law of Moses), but each was found wanting. In other words, you cannot buy, negotiate, or work for the forgiveness of your sins.

The good news? With Jesus, our sins are completely forgiven, and Jesus promises that He will not even remember them! No matter how terrible they are! No matter how often we have sinned! Jesus is the only answer to our sin problem. Therefore, the forgiveness of your sins and mine can be promised, celebrated, and shared with all who need to hear such great news. We are forgiven! Hallelujah!

Prayer

Merciful, forgiving God,

I could never earn Your forgiveness on my own. You know the depth of sins, and the lack of faith I have exhibited. Yet I am so thankful that You freely offer me forgiveness anyway, paid for by the life, death, and resurrection of Your son. Help me to move away from the sin that You have forgiven me for, in order to forge a better path in my daily walk. May I always see the resurrected Jesus as the One who promises and provides me with Your forgiveness. I pray this prayer in His Holy name. Amen.


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