Tuesday, April 6, 2010


"Truly I say to you, that all the sins shall be forgiven to the sons of men, and evil speakings with which they might speak evil, but whoever may speak evil in regard to the Holy Spirit hath not forgiveness..." Mark 3:28-29

These were the words of Jesus prior to what he accomplished on the cross. "It is finished" or "completed" or "accomplished" or "fulfilled" were the words that he spoke on the cross just before he gave up his spirit. I believe that Christ's death on the cross was for all mankind. I believe that he stood in as sacrifice for all mankind. Jesus was sent to die not to satisfy the justice of God, but to satisfy the death wish the enemy has for all mankind. He took our place so we wouldn't have to suffer and die as he did. Therefore the justice of God is grace. That by His blood any man may have forgiveness of sin and everlasting life. For Jesus even said that he came not to judge the world but to save it!{Jn 12:47} The only judgement ever given by God{in the OT} was exile and separation. Death and disease etc was the judgement of the enemy{the devil}. On the cross Jesus opened the door so that no one had to be separated, both during our time on earth and for eternity. He paid the price for every mans freedom once and for all. That door remains open so that anyone who chooses to walk through may do so. Final judgement is only up to God and will not come until we enter eternity. I have a feeling he will be far more gracious than any human on the planet!

{After the Resurrection} Jesus said to them again, "Peace be with you; as the Father has sent Me, I also send you. And when He had said this, He breathed on them and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, their sins have been forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they have been retained." John 20:21-23

Now, we know for sure that this verse does not mean that any man can absolve any other man of sin; only the blood of Jesus can do that. So what does it mean? Well I think in light of the verse above it means FORGIVE! In light of the verse above we know that Jesus forgave all mankind their sin on the cross. The atonement for all mankind's sin lays waiting for them, but each man must choose to accept it. Each man must agree for himself that the only way to the Father is through Jesus. But that doesn't mean that those who haven't accepted it aren't forgiven. That is to say, a contract has been drawn up for every man and has been signed with the blood of Jesus. Now every contract awaits the agreeing signature of each man.

I think what Jesus was saying to his disciples as a precursor to "the great commission" was "Don't tear up any of the contracts I have just signed with my blood." He was being sure to tell his disciples before he sent them into the world to do the same that he had just done. That was to forgive and show grace. Notice the impartation of the Holy Spirit to help them swallow this difficult command. The word forgive in this verse is the Greek word aphiemi which means "let it go", "give up a debt" or "not to hinder". Retaining a man's sin is unforgiveness, it is a hindrance and it is a sin in it's own right. It plays into the Devil's hand of destruction for that person and for you. In fact the word retain {in the above verse} is krateo in the Greek. Krateo means "to take hold of" or "to seize". This was not what Jesus was calling his disciples to do. In doing so you revoke what Christ already paid for that person. Are you sure you want to mess with that!?! I don't think so. Remember whatever you bind on earth will be bound in the heavens and likewise whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in the heavens {Matt 16:19}.

So given that we have just celebrated the awesome sacrifice and forgiveness of Jesus on the cross; lets remember to do unto others the same that has been done for us. Jesus was getting ready to send these disciples out to get "contracts" signed. He was sending them out to be a testimony of Himself, that is Jesus. He was sending them out to be a testimony of the Holy Spirit, that is the fruits of the Spirit. He was sending them out to bind up broken hearts, to heal and to set people free. He was not sending them out to judge or to be a hindrance. He was not sending them out to take hold of men by the neck and damn them to hell. This attitude will never be a witness of the cross because that is not what Jesus did on the cross. We are forgiven! At the very least we can give others the same grace that Jesus gave us, both within the church and outside of it. Jesus said to the disciples "Follow me" both before the crucifixion and after the resurrection. Meaning do as I did and now do as I do. Who are you following?

1 comment:

  1. I John 2:2 He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and only for ours, but also for the sins of the WHOLE WORLD
    I John 2:12 ....your sins have been forgiven on account of his name.


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