So I was asked a couple of weeks ago to do a lunch bar talk for Leicester CU with an Easter theme, and this was the title we came up with (actually mostly Mo did). This morning I have been finishing off the prep for the talk, and I am so very excited about it!
Here is a basic outline of my line of thought:
- People think that:
- Some people deserve forgiveness, and others don’t
- Forgiveness means letting people off the hook and isn’t really fair
- Punishment is necessary for people who commit crimes
- The Bible says that:
- Noone deserves forgiveness, but God loves us and so offers it
- Forgiveness is expensive, it means that we repay a debt for the person we are forgiving
- Punishment is still necessary for people who commit crimes, but the motivation is to restore them
On top of all that, where we might find it hard to forgive because the crime against us is great, we are able to because God first forgave us. Tim Keller uses this helpful illustration in his series on the Prodigal Son:
If someone steals £100 from you, then they owe you a debt of £100. In order to forgive them you must essentially pay that debt for them. If you have a million pounds in your bank account then it’s pretty easy to forgive that debt, because it’s relatively small. But if your bank account is empty then £100 is a really large debt, and it’s really difficult to forgive. The glorious thing about being a Christian is that we have an overflowing bank account because of what God has done for us, it’s not always easy to forgive, but we have the resources to pay any debt against us.