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- Two Directions of Forgiveness
is one of the most beautiful words in any language. What makes it such a special and beautiful word? Consider some of the results that flow from forgiveness: reconciliation, peace, harmony, understanding, fellowship. How our world today stands in such dire need of these things!
In contrast, consider some of the consequences that flow from our failure to give and receive forgiveness: bitterness, strife, disharmony, hatred, and war. At times, it seems as though the entire human race is in danger of being overwhelmed by these evil, negative forces. If we are ever to rise above these conditions, it will be only as we learn and apply the principles of forgiveness.
There are two directions of forgiveness presented in the Bible. These two directions are portrayed by that great symbol of our Christian faith: the cross. The cross has two beams—one vertical, one horizontal—that represent the two directions of forgiveness. The vertical beam represents the forgiveness that we all need to receive from God and can be received only through our identification with the sacrifice and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The horizontal beam represents our relationships with our fellow men, and it speaks of the forgiveness that, in this case, has two directions: the forgiveness we need to receive from others, and the forgiveness we need to extend to others. Once again, the only place where we can receive the grace for that kind of forgiveness is the cross.
Thank You, Lord, for the blood of Jesus. I proclaim that I not only receive God’s forgiveness; I also open myself up to receive the forgiveness of others, and I extend my forgiveness to them, as well. Through the blood of Jesus, all my sins are forgiven. Amen.
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