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Compassionate and Gracious

By Tal Haroni 

Can God forgive all my sins? Perhaps I’ve strayed too far, and there’s no way back now. What does it mean to forgive ourselves? How do we break free from sin?

These were the questions weighing on the heart of one of our disciples this week. At every stage in life, a person can do some soul-searching, pondering what they’re doing and whether these actions hold meaning. The tense times here in the Land force many of us to ask such questions and seek answers to all of the pain and disappointment.

The answer lies in the proclamation of John the Baptist, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.” – John 1:29

I don’t think it’s a coincidence that John the Baptist declared the most crucial role in Jesus’ ministry – bearing the sin of the world. The name “John” means in Hebrew יוחנן “Yohanan”: Yo – God, Hanan – granted grace; canceled the punishment. Jesus came into this world to reconcile us to God the Father and grant us forgiveness of sins. God’s plan has always been to extend grace to us, to redeem us, and to give us the Kingdom. John proclaimed the King who came into the world.

No one on earth is righteous, no one who does what is right and never sins.” – Ecclesiastes 7:20

No matter how hard we try not to sin in this world, our nature leads us again and again to destruction (Romans 7). We strive and try to walk in His way, and sometimes, even when we’re sure it’s the right path, His mercy reveals to us that we’ve deviated from it. His forgiveness allows us to return at any given moment to the Father’s embrace and return to a deep relationship with Him, a Father-son/daughter relationship. 

The pain and disappointment that often overwhelm us stem from wrong decisions in our lives. We can try to evade the pain of life or lament over wrong choices. We can be disappointed with God and drift away from Him or be disappointed in ourselves. But the forgiveness we receive from Jesus allows us to start anew, to find peace, to trust in God, and to restore our relationship with Him.

One key to being released from our past is forgiving ourselves. How can one forgive oneself? By agreeing with what Yeshua did on the cross and accepting His forgiveness. Jesus, who bore the sin of the world, took all sin upon Himself, those done and those to be done. Additionally, it’s written that God does not remember our sins (Psalm 103:10–12). When we agree with Yeshua’s ultimate role of “bearing the sin of the world,” we allow Him to take our sins and set us free. He does it with joy, not rejoicing over sin, God forbid, but joy that we choose Him, despite the pain and disappointment.

He destined us for adoption to himself through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace.” –  Ephesians 1:5–7

God loves us so much. He wants to be our Father; He wants an open, honest, and true relationship with us. He doesn’t want anything to separate us, and that’s why He sent Jesus into the world, to grant us forgiveness of sins according to the richness of His grace. Who among us who is a parent and can understand the heart of the Father who’s ready, time and again, to forgive to draw close to His son or daughter?

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” – Romans 8:1

Yeshua shed His blood for us. He bore our sins on the cross and granted us eternal redemption. In Him, we have life and peace with God. In Him, we are free to be sons and daughters of God. God invites you today to receive forgiveness, to draw near to Him, and to be His son or daughter. He desires you – He wants you to feel free to tell Him everything, even those things that aren’t easy to confess. He invites you to agree with Him and accept the forgiveness on the cross.

Yeshua, I acknowledge that You were sent into the world to bear my sin. I admit that I don’t always choose right and sometimes go my own way stubbornly. I agree with what You did on the cross; I accept Your forgiveness and choose to believe that my sins are forgiven. I ask You to help me hear Your voice, to walk in Your way day by day, and to renew my relationship with the Father. I believe that the Father delights in me, loves me, and no longer remembers my sins. I am a child of God, and I desire to draw closer to Him.

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