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Luke 23:24. Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”. Forgiveness. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Luke 23:24Jesus said, Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.ForgivenessWhen you hold resentment toward another, you are bound to that person or condition by an emotional link that is stronger than steel. Forgiveness is the only way to dissolve that link and get free. Catherine PonderThere is no love without forgiveness, and there is no forgiveness without love. Bryant McGillTo forgive is the highest, most beautiful form of love. In return, you will receive untold peace and happiness. Robert MuellerAlways forgive your enemies - nothing annoys them so much. Oscar Wilde

Jesus Prayed for ForgivenessJesus' first and last words from the cross were a prayer to His Father.The petition: Father, forgive them. One would think that he should have prayed, "Father, consume them; (Matthew Henry's Commentary)Jesus gave a wonderful example and illustration of his own teaching.Over and over he had taught forgiveness of hurt and wrongs.Key Teaching was an answer to a question that Peter posed:Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, "Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?" Jesus answered, "I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times. (Matthew 18:21-22)

Jesus Prayed for ForgivenessIf anyone had the right to be vengeful, he did; and he had the power to avenge.But in longsuffering and love he instead prayed and asked forgiveness for all those who persecuted him.Jewish officialsRomans authoritiesCrowds that cried out for His deathUSThe gospel--the Good News--is that God is gracious. He will forgive us and give us new life through his Son.

He Set the Example for UsChristian forgiveness is an amazing thing.... There is nothing so lovely and nothing so rare as Christian forgiveness. When the unforgiving spirit is threatening to turn our hearts to bitterness, let us hear again our Lord asking forgiveness for those who crucified him. [Barclay Commentary] It is important to learn from Christs example:Forgiveness can be hard Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, "Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?" Jesus answered, "I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times. (Matthew 18:21-22)It's not a one-time choice and then we live in a state of forgiveness automatically.Forgiveness may require a lifetime of forgiving, but it is important to the Lord.We must continue forgiving until the matter is settled in our heart.

He Set the Example for UsForgiveness is necessary for a believer If we cannot forgive ourselves and others, then God WILL not forgive usFor if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.(Matthew 6:14-15)Forgive us the wrongs we have done, as we forgive the wrongs that others have done to us. (Matthew 6:12, Good News TranslationWe forgive others because He FORGAVE US!We need to reciprocate the grace and mercy extended to us!Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. (Ephesians 4:32)Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. (Ephesians 5:1-12)

He Set the Example for UsNo other religion "teaches" people to pray for the forgiveness of enemies;.... the Christian bears reproaches and persecutions with patience, and prays that God would pardon those who injure them, and save them from their sins. (Barnes' Notes)

Accepting the Forgiveness He has for UsJesus forgave those who nailed him to the cross.Here in the most unjust situation in history, forgiveness was extended without limit.Christ forgave before people even asked Him.You were forgiven before you asked!Salvation comes AFTER you repent!As we experience His forgiveness, we are freed to forgive those who have sinned against us.Christ helps us to release our bitterness and resentment, which only imprison us.His forgiveness empowers us to be forgiving people - forgiving yourself as well as those who have hurt us. [Life Recovery SB]

ConclusionDo you have you trouble forgiving someone? May I encourage you to come to Jesus and hand Him over that burden. He will give you rest and help you experience victory over unforgiveness. Finally you will be freed from that burden. He promised: Matt 11:29 "Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls."Do you need to seek His forgiveness? Today is the day! He is waiting to hear from you