This week, we’ll be reading from Colossians. Click the scripture link to read the full chapter (Colossians is only 4 chapters long).
See to it that nobody enslaves you with philosophy and foolish deception, which conform to human traditions and the way the world thinks and acts rather than Christ. All the fullness of deity lives in Christ’s body. And you have been filled by him, who is the head of every ruler and authority. In him you were also circumcised with a circumcision not administered by human hands. The circumcision of Christ is realized in the stripping away of the whole self dominated by sin. You were buried with him through baptism and raised with him through faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead. When you were dead because of the things you had done wrong and because your body wasn’t circumcised, God made you alive with Christ and forgave all the things you had done wrong. He destroyed the record of the debt we owed, with its requirements that worked against us. He canceled it by nailing it to the cross.
There are few things more satisfying than paying off a debt. Anyone who has ever finished making payments on a credit card, car note, student loan, or mortgage knows how it feels. You are finally free. You can breathe again!
There is so much that we owe to God and to our fellow human beings. We have hurt people – sometimes the people we love most in the world. We have offended God through the things we’ve done wrong through careless, thoughtless, and self-absorbed living.
And yet, the scripture says this: all that is behind you. All that debt: forgiven. All that regret: in the past. It was all left there, nailed to a cross outside Jerusalem 2000 years before you were even born!
Not only is the debt forgiven, but the mortgage is already burned. Any record of it has been destroyed. God holds none of it against us. Today is your fresh start.
For Pondering & Prayer
What image of forgiveness speaks to you most powerfully? Is it the mortgage burning? The indictment being nailed to the cross? Something else? It’s often true that the hardest person to forgive is yourself. When you are tempted to dwell on your past, keep coming back to that image.
We know that God forgives, instantly and immediately. People? Not so much. How does knowing God’s forgiveness encourage you to seek forgiveness from people you’ve hurt?