Summary: THE CRUCIFIXION BROUGHT OUR FORGIVENESS
THE CRUCIFIXION: THE POWER OF FORGIVENESS
LUKE 23: 32-43
MARCH 21, 2004
INTRODUCTION: Someone once said, to err is human; to forgive divine!
Not long before she died in 1988, in a moment of surprising candor in television, Marghanita Laski, one of our best-known secular humanists and novelists, said, "What I envy most about you Christians is your forgiveness; I have nobody to forgive me." John Stott in The Contemporary Christian.
TRANSITION THOUGHT: Today I want to talk to us about the power of forgiveness. Until we are forgiven, we are still under bondage to our sin. When we are forgiven, we are free from guilt and shame and now have the power to forgive others. As we continue our Journey to understand the crucifixion, let us hear again the first words Jesus would speak from the Cross. Let us here again of the Power of Forgiveness!
THESIS SENTENCE: THE CRUCIFIXION BROUGHT OUR FORGIVENESS
The question I have for us this morning is “How do we get there?”
I. THE POWER OF FORGIVENESS IS THE PRAYER PRAYED LUKE 11:1-4
A. THE PRAYER PRAYED IS A REQUEST MADE
1. The disciples had watched and heard Jesus pray.
2. They knew that John taught his disciple how to pray.
3. I am sure, feeling a little intimidated by it all, they wondered just how they were to pray.
4. SO, they formed a committee and the out come was that someone had to ask Jesus to teach them to pray. One of the disciples did just that: “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples (vv. 1).”
B. THE PRAYER PRAYED IS THE PRAYER
1. Jesus didn’t say no and He did rebuke them for asking. He didn’t teach a lesson on why we should pray or what the theological ramifications of prayer are, he just said, “Say!”
2. What is important is the words he taught the disciples to pray. We really need to dig a little here.
3. Luke gives us a smaller version than Matthew, but the core is here and the core is the matter:
“Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread. Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us. And lead us not into temptation.”
4. Now we could spend a lot of time on this and we have in the past, but did you notice the issue of sin and forgiveness.
5. Jesus taught us to ask for forgiveness when we pray. One of the key elements of this prayer is the issue of forgiveness and it can’t come unless we ask, so HE teaches us to ask!
6. Verses 5-11 promise us that if we ask, HE WILL ANSWER!!
7. But did you notice what Jesus taught us to pray after we asked for forgiveness? This is not a request; this is a statement of fact. He did teach them to pray, “Forgive us our sins, when and if we forgive others who sin against us.”
He taught us to pray, “Forgive us our sins, BECAUSE (FOR) WE (DO) ALSO FORGIVE EVERYONE WHO SINS AGAINST US.”
ILLUTRATION: In Ivan endures all the horrors of a Soviet prison camp. One day he is praying with his eyes closed when a fellow prisoner notices him and says with ridicule, "Prayers won’t help you get out of here any faster." Opening his eyes, Ivan answers, "I do not pray to get out of prison but to do the will of God."
Our Daily Bread, December 29, 1993
TRUTH: THE PRAYER WE WERE TAUGHT TO PRAY IS ONE OF CONFESSION AND FORGIVENESS.
QUESTIONS: DO WE PRAY AS JESUS TAUGHT US TO PRAY? DO WE FORGIVE? ARE WE FORGIVEN?
II. THE POWER OF FORGIVENESS IS THE LESSON TAUGHT MATTHEW 18:21-22
A. THE LESSON TAUGHT IS THE QUESTION ASKED
1. Jesus has just been teaching the disciples how to deal with someone who sins against them.
2. “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 (verse 21)?’”
3. Peter had just heard the Lord Jesus speak on this issue of going to a brother who sins against you and he says, okay, I hear you. BUT, how many times do we have to do this? Now we need to admire Peter, he was willing to go seven times to a brother who had sinned against him. Most folks won’t go once. BUT, Peter was willing to go the extra mile: 7 times!
4. Just remember, this was not a statement Peter made, but a question!
B. THE LESSON TAUGHT IS THE ANSWER GIVEN
1. “Jesus answered, ‘I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times (verse 22).’”
2. Now I know some people that might just try to keep score and will know when we have reached the 77th time. I also know this is not the point. Jesus is saying, “Don’t keep score, FORGIVE!”