Summary: We forgive because we have been forgiven.
Living the Lord’s Prayer, Part-5, Mathew 6:6-13
“Forgive us our Debts”
“When you have been sitting in a well-lighted room and are suddenly called into the outer darkness, how black it seems. And thus when a man has dwelt in communion with God, sin becomes exceedingly sinful, and the darkness in which the world lies appears like tenfold night.” (Spurgeon)
The longer I walk with Christ the uglier my sin seems to me. The closer into communion with God I am the more desperately thankful to God I am for having forgiven this broken, brazen, bold, sinner’s heart. It is only when we have been in the light that darkness is well defined. Interestingly darkness is not a true state.
Darkness is not positively definable on its own terms. In other words, darkness doesn’t exist. It is merely the absence of light. There is a cave that I love to visit in Northern California. Moaning Caverns is just a short drive from where I was raised in Modesto, California. It is an easy day trip that we made many times as a family growing up and even visited on school field trips routinely.
You can either descend through a hole in the top of the cavern on a repel rope or take the safe (sane) route down a very large spiral staircase. I have always chosen the staircase. Upon reaching the bottom of the deep and twisting cavern, the tour guide will turn off the artificial lighting and ask everyone to keep silent. In the deepest of darkness the sound of an underground river can be heard faintly in the distance moving through the rock underfoot.
It is the darkest of darkness, there deep in the heart of the earth. The depth of our sin and brokenness is only revealed by the glorious light of the holiness of God! As one ascends from the darkness of the cavern the wondrous light of a Northern California Sierra Nevada mountainous sky floods the eye. Often the intensity of the light is so dazzling that your eyes need time to adjust and the smell of the pine is so beautiful that the sensory feast is overwhelming.
As we consider the darkness of our sin and fallen state in the light of the glory of the love of God as demonstrated in Jesus Christ, I am likewise overwhelmed by the loveliness, exquisiteness, and the magnificence of forgiveness!
In the Lord’s Prayer we are admonished to pray this way, “Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” (Matthew 6:12, 14-15 NIV)
Next week we will deal with more with the directly related but intermediary clause in verse 13 “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.” This morning we will look at God’s forgiveness of us and His invitation for us to participate in His plan of redemption for the world.
The beauty of His holy light has shown in Jesus Christ through the forgiveness of sin, reconciliation that was poured out at the Cross. That beauty of that light is measured best measured by the darkness of sin. The full magnitude of that light is best enjoyed when it is shared with others.