“Therefore I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven” (Luke 7:47).
She is the town tramp with a well-earned, shameful reputation. Women whisper about her when she walks past and pull their children close lest her degenerate nature somehow infect them. Men look at her with disdain – on the outside at least – and lust for her on the inside. No self-respecting religious authority would publicly be seen near her. Yet here she is kneeling at the feet of Jesus, weeping tears onto His dusty feet, tenderly drying them with her hair and anointing them with expensive perfume – no doubt funded by her illicit acts. She is a sinful woman. And Jesus loves her. He who alone has the authority to judge her, instead forgives her. The sin she carried into the house is left in a heap at those perfumed feet and she walks out forgiven. I cannot image that she spent the rest of her life wrapped in a shawl of shame grieving her past. So why do we?
Through many years of serving in women’s ministry, the most oft-repeated statement I hear is: “I just can’t forgive myself.” What if I told you forgiveness is not up to you? Sweet friend, if you have accepted Christ as your Savior, your past – regardless of how ugly it is – is covered by the all-sufficient, all-powerful, perfectly-cleansing blood of Jesus. Hear what the Lord says: “I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more” (Hebrews 8:12). If God doesn’t remember your sins, why do you need to? They are gone. Done. Washed away. If you continue to carry the weight of your sins around, you are saying that Jesus is not a sufficient Savior and that God is a liar. He has declared you forgiven through the blood of Jesus – why would He say it if it were not so? Why would you continue to hold onto something that is no longer there?
Here’s the bottom line Beloved. God has already forgiven you through Jesus’ sacrifice. There is nothing left for you to forgive. Leave your shame at the foot of the cross and claim the new life you have been given.
“There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” Romans 8:1.