Summary: We will be talking about Seeking Forgiveness, Finding the way to Forgive, and offering Forgiveness.
Today we are talking about Forgiveness and even as a young pastor I have come to realize that most people are uncomforted with Topic.
We don’t like to think that we need forgiveness.
We can’t bare the thought of letting those hurtful unchanged people off the hook.
When we talk about forgiveness we are talking about something deep down in our souls. We can hide our un forgiveness for almost everyone, but it is the cancer of the soul. Mutating and breaking you down on the inside.
25"Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father who is in heaven will also forgive you your transgressions. 26["But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father who is in heaven forgive your transgressions."]
He is a little road map for tonight. Let me say my prayer is that God will begin a healing work inside of us tonight. We will be talking about Seeking Forgiveness, Finding the way to Forgive, and offering Forgiveness.
Our temptation is always to cover up, minimize and rationalize sin rather than confronting it, confessing it and be forgiven.
Back in November a you man came to my door selling candy for his school. You have all answered these door bells, and I always feel compassion for their efforts. So I ordered some chocolate, and the kid had me pay up front. Which after telling this story a few times I have realized that no one pays up front. So Christmas and then January rolls by and I am pretty sure I have been had, no chocolate. My compassion for the door to door candy kid is going down. Then a few weeks ago I find some chocolates and a letter on my door.
Read the Letter of a Boy who I bought Chocolates from Well before Christmas
Not many people would hope to apologize face to face. Unless they knew. Unless they understood the healing power of confession.
Joseph is relentlessly testing his brothers. They had already sold Joseph to down the river to make their lives easier. When push came to shove they had left their brother Simeon in Prison. Now would they do the same thing with Benjamin. Take the grain and run, sorry buddy you got stuck with the silver Cup.
But then something powerful and unexpected happens. Judah steps forward, the same Judah who stepped forward to explain the bloody tunic to his Father. He steps Forward and says…
24 When we went back to your servant my father, we told him what my lord had said.
25 Then our father said, ’Go back and buy a little more food.’
26 But we said, ’We cannot go down. Only if our youngest brother is with us will we go. We cannot see the man’s face unless our youngest brother is with us.’
27 Your servant my father said to us, ’You know that my wife bore me two sons.
28 One of them went away from me, and I said, He has surely been torn to pieces. And I have not seen him since.
29 If you take this one from me too and harm comes to him, you will bring my grey head down to the grave in misery.’
30 So now, if the boy is not with us when I go back to your servant my father and if my father, whose life is closely bound up with the boy’s life,
31 sees that the boy isn’t there, he will die. Your servants will bring the grey head of our father down to the grave in sorrow.
32 Your servant guaranteed the boy’s safety to my father. I said, ’If I do not bring him back to you, I will bear the blame before you, my father, all my life!’
33 Now then, please let your servant remain here as my lord’s slave in place of the boy, and let the boy return with his brothers.
34 How can I go back to my father if the boy is not with me? No! Do not let me see the misery that would come upon my father.
It is Judah’s complete change in attitude that stirred up great emotion in Joseph offering himself in place of his brother Benjamin.
Judah has gone from the one holding the bloody tunic to a man of self sacrifice for Benjamin and His Father Jacob.
We have talked allot about repentance as “a turning away from sin.” And this is true Judah has turned away from selfishness and turned to self sacrifice. But repentance also means “to change our thinking.” Judah had been thinking about himself, but in this moment he repents he changes his thinking to “how will this effect my Father.”
In this story Judah doesn’t realize he is asking forgiveness, but there is no doubt that he is repenting of his old actions; thinking and acting in a new way.