Forgiveness and grace are linked very closely. When I led a junior school assembly last month I explained ‘grace’ by saying ‘no matter how good or bad we are, God loves us just the same.’
In a conflict situation, how do we halt the cycle of blame and pain? In Greek, forgiveness means to release and free yourself.
The Lord’s prayer…’forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.’ This challenges us to make a decision to act.
Forgiveness is the opposite of resentment, that clings to the past and keeps picking and repicking the scab and the wound deepens. Hence the victim suffers twice.
On the cross Jesus said ‘Forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.’
What would have happened if Jesus hadn’t forgiven them?
The most important difference between Christianity and all the other religions is that we receive God’s grace as a free gift.