SCRIPTURE: Micah 7:18
Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives…transgression?
When the first missionaries came to Alberta, Canada, they were savagely opposed by a young chief of the Cree Indians named Maskepetoon. But he responded to the gospel and accepted Christ. Shortly afterward, a member of the Blackfoot tribe killed his father. Maskepetoon rode into the village where the murderer lived and demanded that he be brought before him. Confronting the guilty man, he said, "You have killed my father, so now you must be my father. You shall ride my best horse and wear my best clothes." In utter amazement and remorse his enemy exclaimed, "My son, now you have killed me!" He meant, of course, that the hate in his own heart had been completely erased by the forgiveness and kindness of the Indian chief.
Forgiveness comes in various ways. Lent is a time when we begin to understand the full extent of God’s forgiveness for us the transgressors.
The story about the young Indian chief, Maskepetoon has for me a strong parallel in the story between God and us. We kill his son, Jesus, and what does God do? He adopts us to be his sons and daughters. He “kills” our hate and anger with his forgiveness. Everything that was Jesus’ is now ours. We hear God say, “You have killed my son, so now you must be my child.” By God’s forgiveness we have been brought in … pardoned … washed clean … dressed in new clothes … given the keys to the Kingdom.
Charles Wesley wrote: “And can it be that I should gain an interest in the Savior’s blood!/Died he for me? who caused his pain! For me? who him to death pursued?/Amazing love! How can it be that thou, my God, shouldst die for me?/Amazing love! How can it be that thou, my God, shouldst die for me?”
We don’t understand it, but we accept it. We cannot comprehend the power, but we experience it. We try to figure out a different approach by adding layers of requirements, but faith and acceptance never change. We have been pardoned. We have been forgiven by the Father of the Son we killed and now live the Son’s life. Truly it is amazing love!
We do not understand the love, the pardon, and the forgiveness that you show to us, Heavenly Father. We are glad for such forgiveness. We know that we don’t deserve it. Thank you for your divine acceptance and forgiveness. In the name of him we kill. Amen.