My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
Why are you so far from helping me, from the words of my groaning? (Psalm 22:1)
There is a cost to forgiveness, and it must be paid by the forgiver. In the New Testament, the word ἀφίημι (apheimi) is often used to translate the idea of forgiveness. That word means to send away, to release, and to let go. By that definition, we can begin to sense the cost of forgiveness, and how the depth of offense reflects the cost of forgiveness. To forgive a small, unfortunate accident requires little, but the burden to let go of a grievous hurt demands much more from the forgiver.
When we hear the opening words of Psalm 22 rest on the lips of Jesus Christ as he neared death, the cost of forgiveness becomes apparent. The greatest treasure for Jesus is his relationship with GOD, a delightful intimacy and union we cannot fathom. Likewise, we will never grasp the pain of when that union was severed on the cross when Jesus felt forsaken. Yet, Jesus chose to endure the cross so that our sins would be forgiven, and our relationship with GOD reconciled.
Prayer: Lord Jesus Christ, you bore the cross to make us a people of GOD, forgiven and redeemed. Remind us that our sins have been cast away, and let us live into the freedom obtained through your sacrifice. In your name we pray, Amen.
Rev. Danny Yang