“Friends, I realize that what you and your leaders did to Jesus was done in ignorance. But God was fulfilling what all the prophets had foretold about the Messiah—that he must suffer these things. Now repent of your sins and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped away. Then times of refreshment will come from the presence of the Lord, and he will again send you Jesus, your appointed Messiah.” (Acts 3:17-20)
When Jesus is weak and near death, he cries out. “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” If I wrote that as a scene in a novel with another character, an editor would say it was impossible for someone near death to speak loudly. But Jesus, with the power of the Holy Spirit and help of unseen angels, exclaims His incredible words of grace. When Jesus says, “Forgive them,” He includes Judas Iscariot, Pilate, the men who nailed Jesus to the cross, us, and even the men who beat him for fun because it was God’s plan that Jesus must suffer to fulfill Old Testament prophecy. Peter extends, in the name of Jesus Christ, God’s incredible grace.
It’s a sin not to forgive yourself because Jesus died so you could live refreshed in His love. So repent if there’s something you haven’t forgiven yourself for, and give all your guilt to Jesus. In the presence of the Holy Spirit, close your eyes and feel the warmth of sitting by the ocean, hear the powerful waves, and inhale and taste the salty air. Then watch your wrongdoings disappear into the ocean, and enjoy the refreshment and love of the Holy Spirit.
Dearest Heavenly Father, I praise you for Your gift of grace. I give Jesus my sin, and you give me grace. It’s not a fair trade, but You love me. Give me the opportunity to pass Your amazing love to others and the power of the Holy Spirit to do Your will. In Jesus’ name, I pray, amen.