That line has been stuck in my head for the past couple of weeks now. It stems from the selfishness of the heart, and how often there is a misunderstanding of the Gospel. In talking to an eclectic collection of people, some friends, others strangers, one theme has been constant; a question on how it is possible for God to love and forgive us after all we’ve done. Inevitably every conversation I have been part of recently that begged this question winds up, wrongly I might add, at the same conclusion. “God can’t forgive me, what I’ve done is too horrible and I’m too far gone” or “God will never forgive me, I’ve chosen so many other things over him, he’s tired of my apologies”.
The answer to this misconception and misunderstanding of the Gospel is that God already did the hardest thing. The costliest, most loving thing he could have done for you, for me, he has already accomplished. That’s the root of the gospel. On that fateful night,in the garden, Jesus prayed. He cried out to the Father, fully knowing and understanding the Father’s will for his life, because that will was put in place before anything was. He cried out to the Father knowing full well that what he was about to endure was unimaginably painful, and undeserved. He cried out with sweat dripping like drops of blood because the culmination of what he had come to earth to do was close, and in that moment the enormity of the suffering and pain he was to endure he could not do on his own strength (Luke 22:39 – 46).
The Father loves the Son, and the Father loves his creation. Sin entered and fractured our relationship with the God. “But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us – Romans 5:8“. That’s the hardest thing, that in my transgression and iniquity, in the middle of my pride and idolatry, God sent his son, with whom he was well pleased to die a death so gruesome and undeserved. The hardest thing that though Jesus was in the form of God, he did not count equality with God as a thing to be grasped, but gave up his stature, his comfort and his life to give me life (Philippians 2:6 – 10). The hardest thing is wrapped up in that demonstration of love and grace on the cross, a love that defeated sin by paying for it in full, love that defeated death through the resurrection of Christ, that’s the love that we boast off. Thats the grace that we live our lives under, and thats where the power of forgiveness lies.
So no, the hardest thing is not for God to forgive your sinful, wicked heart in your current failings. He already did that, while you and I were sinners (Romans 5:8). A belief in the contrary is contrary to what we believe. His love was poured on us by Him sending His son. Our right standing with God is based on someone’s good behavior. Good thing is that behavior isn’t yours or mine but His Son’s.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. – John 3:16“