But Jesus said to him, “Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?” Luke 22:48
Jesus died on the cross to forgive the sin of the world. He bled and suffered to pay the price of sin . . . all sin for all time. You and I are forgiven today because of that payment. In fact, all people are forgiven, but not all walk in that forgiveness. It must be personally received in order for the payment of forgiveness to be activated in someone’s life.
Jesus forgave sin, long before He died to pay the penalty. We see in today’s reading that when Judas came to betray Him, Jesus talked to him as a friend to show Judas that He still loved him despite what he was doing to turn Jesus over to be crucified. Throughout His entire ministry, Jesus spent time with sinners. Those that wanted to be forgiven and brought to a place of redemption. Forgiveness was always in His heart, and He gave it freely everywhere He was. Even when He was suffering on the cross, He prayed: “Father forgive them, they don’t know what they are doing.” He was praying for those who were executing the order to kill Him because He had a heart to forgive, not to hold on to a grudge. It was because He is love and there is no holding on to offense in Him.
Your and I have the power to forgive, also. Our heart is always prepared to either forgive or hold on to hurts and resentments. It is up to each individual to decide ahead of time the heart they want to have. Thankfully, we will never have to pay the penalty for sin because Jesus already did that, but we do have to make the choice to release anything we are holding on to that would keep us in unforgiveness.
Today I want to encourage you to choose forgiveness. Choose to receive the forgiveness that God gives you through the blood of Jesus and choose to forgive others that have hurt and offended you. You have a choice, but you have to decide ahead of time that you are going to do it. God put the power of forgiveness in your heart when He put His love on the inside of you. Use that power to set yourself free from the bondage and bitterness of retaliation. Instead, release those who have sinned against you and walk in the freedom of God’s love and forgiveness from now on.
Today’s scripture reading: Luke 22:47-53
47 And while He was still speaking, behold, a multitude; and he who was called Judas, one of the twelve, went before them and drew near to Jesus to kiss Him.
48 But Jesus said to him, “Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?”
49 When those around Him saw what was going to happen, they said to Him, “Lord, shall we strike with the sword?”
50 And one of them struck the servant of the high priest and cut off his right ear.
51 But Jesus answered and said, “Permit even this.” And He touched his ear and healed him.
52 Then Jesus said to the chief priests, captains of the temple, and the elders who had come to Him, “Have you come out, as against a robber, with swords and clubs?
53 When I was with you daily in the temple, you did not try to seize Me. But this is your hour, and the power of darkness.”