Father, Forgive Them

By John Thiel

Psalms 103:2 Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits:  3 Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases;  4 Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies;

This study is a two phase meditation. The first phase is in reference to the seriousness of the transgression of the Ten Commandments. The second phase is the amazing provision of pardon that is to affect us to be able to pardon one another. The seriousness of the breaking of the Ten Commandments is of such a nature that affects us how?

1 John 3:4 Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.

We know well what seriousness sin has unleashed on this planet earth.

Romans 6:23 for the wages of sin is death.

Not death as merely a punishment as that is all we often visualise in reference to breaking Gods commandments are we going to be punished, its death because of cause to affect.

Honour Thy Father and Thy Mother

The sixth commandment says honour your father and your mother. If children are disobedient and dishonour their parents, what happens? There is grief in the family. There is heartache and the grief that affects the heart of the parents is a canker that shortens life expectancy.

Thou Shalt Not Kill

The next commandment thou shalt not kill is obvious. If we break that commandment there is death. Not only of the one that is murdered but the guilt on the murderer that shortens his life.

Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery

This is the death of a sweet marital relationship. When we really understand what marriage is meant to be and how God has created it, adultery destroys marriage intimacy. It is a death to a relationship, it is a canker that destroys and finally kills.

Thou Shalt Not Steal

Have you ever been stolen from? How do you feel? The person who steals creates a reaction in the victim of the crime. It diminishes the trust of humanity in humanity. Thou shalt not bear false witness. Have you ever been lied to? It creates grief doesn’t’ it.

Thou Shalt Not Covet

The commandment that embraces all those commands is, Thou shalt not covet. This is a transgression that combines all together where there is an internal satisfaction where we covet another person’s belongings, whatever they be. If we offend in one of these commandments, then we indeed have broken them all.

James 2:10 For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one [point], he is guilty of all.

What Have We Done to God?

In having transgressed those commandments we can all reflect back where we have done it and see there is damage that has been done to my fellow human beings and to myself but what of God? What have we done to God? We have just described the effect of transgression upon each other but what of God?

When King David committed adultery with Bathsheba and then murdered her husband, who did he sin against? Bathsheba and her husband? Notice his confession. What did he acknowledge that his transgression had affected?

Psalm 51:4 Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done [this] evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, [and] be clear when thou judgest.

Who did he sin against and only? Against God and Him only did he sin. When I first read this I thought he only sinned against Bathsheba, a nation and her husband. Then why did he say against thee only? God is the law giver, He is the life giver. As transgressors of the law of life do their transgressions, who does it most seriously affect? Him who gives life and who gives the law. While we do it to each other, He who gives life is continually being thwarted because the transgression creates death and He God is the one who suffers more than anyone else. We have an interesting record of this in Genesis;

God’s Heart

Genesis 6:5 And God saw that the wickedness of man [was] great in the earth, and [that] every imagination of the thoughts of his heart [was] only evil continually.

 6:6 And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.

Where did it grieve him? At his heart. Against thee and thee only have I sinned. We have grieved Him at his heart.

Psalm 95:9 When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my work.

 95:10 Forty years long was I grieved with [this] generation, and said, It [is] a people that do err in their heart, and they have not known my ways:

God saw the wickedness of the antediluvian world and it grieved Him at His heart and He saw the children of Israel in the wilderness and it grieved Him. How long has He been grieving over sin? Was it not for the last 6000 years? Grieving at the heart stresses and kills us. Grief takes away your life forces doesn’t it? What does it do to God? God is immortal. He cannot die and yet He is grieved to the heart. What actually is the impact of the one who has been grieving of all the sins of every human being?

As it has grieved Him to the heart, what affect will it have upon the beings that are dependent upon Him for life? He is the life giver. He cannot die but He is grieving and He is the one who keeps us alive. In Him we live and move and have our being. What happens? He is right inside of me keeping me alive and He is grieving inside of me. What is the effect? This grieving of God has an effect on the human race that is dependent upon Him for life.

The Wrath of God

Revelation 15:7 And one of the four beasts gave unto the seven angels seven golden vials full of the wrath of God, who liveth for ever and ever.

God who lives forever and ever has wrath in reference to the people that are so sinful. Notice how the temple is affected;

Revelation 15:8 And the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God, and from his power; and no man was able to enter into the temple, till the seven plagues of the seven angels were fulfilled.

The glory of God is more than what comes to mind when you first read that. Remember when Moses said show me thy glory? What did God show him? He showed him His character. Part of His character is what? Mercy and what? I will be no means clear the guilty. He has been in heaven for 6000 years and more grieving. What is wrath? Here is an example of God in Jesus Christ who said if you have seen me you have seen the Father. Here He is face to face with a grieving situation of a man with a withered a hand and the Pharisees were going to pounce on him.

Mark 3:5 And when he had looked round about on them with anger, being grieved for the hardness of their hearts, he saith unto the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched [it] out: and his hand was restored whole as the other.

The Temple is Filled with Smoke

This is the understanding of Gods glory. All who have sinned and transgressed the laws of God have grieved Him to the heart for all those years. Revelation 15 is the end of the period of Gods long loving patience. Now the temple is filled with smoke because of Gods grief that He has pent up inside of Himself for all those millennium. As this wrath and grief is poured out upon the wicked, what happens? We know it is the seven last plagues which is going to destroy this planet. This is the effect of grief upon the human race of the lawgiver. He begins to take away His protective agency and corrupted man who has grieved him for so long with his transgressions is finally trapped by them.

Reason from Cause to Effect

The people will be crying why aren’t you helping us? Isaiah 59 is the example of the reality of this time.

Isaiah 59:1 Behold, the LORD’S hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear:

 59:2 But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid [his] face from you, that he will not hear.

Here is the complete picture of the effects of the well being of those who are dependent on Him. He who yearns to be one with us is grieved to the heart and there comes a point in time where no matter how much man is crying to Him the separation between the life giver is so severe that God will not hear. The sins have separated from the law and life giver those whom He yearns to give life to.

Can you see the effect of transgression? It is an effect upon God who is grieved and it creates a separation from us and Hhim. Ultimately there is an outpouring of that grief that will destroy the whole human race. Not because it is a punishment, but because it is a cause to effect. The life giver is so grieved He has to separate himself from sin. Everyone who is attached to the life giver is separated. What does that mean? Death and destruction. Here arises a very perplexing dilemma for God who also says;

Ezekiel 33:11 Say unto them, [As] I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?

Can you imagine the turmoil in the heart of this grieving God? The wicked are going to die. I don’t want to see it He says. I have no pleasure in the destruction of the wicked. What is God like? When you see people doing something terrible to you and you see them getting retribution what do you say? Ah that serves them right? Is that right? Is that your spirit? It is not Gods spirit.

God Does Not Take Pleasure in the Destruction of the Wicked

How does He handle his dilemma? He cannot die but they will and He has no pleasure in it. This is where the seriousness of transgression that we have contemplated turns to pardon. This is the characteristic of God. He has no pleasure in the death of the wicked. He does not enjoy the consequences of transgression.

2 Corinthian 5:14 For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead:

 5:15 And [that] he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.

The Answer to His Dilemma

He God could not die. What did He do to avoid the destruction of the wicked who He does not like to see destroyed? Behold Him Jesus Christ, God with us. Is that not the meaning of Immanuel? Jesus Christ was the creator, the life giver and the very one who has been grieved by transgression and He who grieved because of transgression comes and takes our position and places Himself in the position of the consequence of my and your sins. I have no pleasure in the retribution of destruction upon the sinner therefore what am I going to do to relieve my grief? My Son is going to come and die because I can’t die so I’m going to become a human being in the midst of humanity and there I’m going to demonstrate my grief that is killing them is going to kill my son.

Do you carry unresolved grief over somebody’s transgression against you? Is there something where you carry in the secret depths of your own heart a canker because someone has transgressed against you? Can you shake it off? Can you get rid of that canker that eats you to the core? You can’t shake it off. Behold Christ. Look at Him long enough to feel His love and to feel His power.

Part 2 – What My Transgression Has Done To Him

Isaiah 63:9 In all their affliction he was afflicted, and the angel of his presence saved them: in his love and in his pity he redeemed them; and he bare them, and carried them all the days of old.

What was He doing as a human being amongst us? All our transgressions were laid upon Him and therefore in all our afflictions He was afflicted. We have a powerful description of it in Psalms 40. Look and let this picture burn into our hearts. This is a picture of Christ’s grief which we have created in Him that finally wipes out the life in His own physical body. Here is what grief does to the heart;

Psalms 40:12 For innumerable evils have compassed me about: mine iniquities have taken hold upon me, so that I am not able to look up; they are more than the hairs of mine head: therefore my heart faileth me.

Here is all the guilt and transgressions that have a cause to effect impact. This is Jesus speaking;

Psalm 40:7 Then said I, Lo, I come: in the volume of the book [it is] written of me,

All sins are grieving Him to the utmost. He can bring to His memory all kinds of distasteful horrible transgressions and all you can recall is yours. As they are upon Him, He says therefore my heart faileth me. There is a canker that causes your heart to flutter when things are really at you, when evils of others and guilt of your own, saps the life energy from you. Jesus was right there. That is what I have done to him.

The evil works, the evil thoughts, the evil words of every son and daughter of Adam press upon his divine soul. Though the guilt of sin was not his, his Spirit was torn and bruised by the transgressions of men. {RH, December 20, 1892 par. 7}

He was grieved to the heart so His heart burst. High blood pressure.

If he drank of the cup of suffering, he must open his breast to the griefs and woes and sins of humanity. {ST, November 25, 1889 par. 2}

What did Jesus utter as He was going with the disciples to Gethsemane on that fateful night? My soul is exceeding sorrowful even unto death. Is that what you feel at the memory of someone’s transgression against you? I don’t want to live, I want to die. This is what Jesus felt. My soul is exceeding sorrowful. He was so grieved at what sinners had laid upon Him that that life was ebbing from Him. When you go through the sensation of I don’t want to live and you think no one feels as bad as you and that you have it worse than everyone else, read the following. Here is the sufferer hanging on the cross with a broken heart;

Lamentations 1:12 [Is it] nothing to you, all ye that pass by? behold, and see if there be any sorrow like unto my sorrow, which is done unto me, wherewith the LORD hath afflicted [me] in the day of his fierce anger.

Can’t you hear the cry of humanity? Does anybody care what I’m going through? Has anyone said that? People have said that to me.

Lamentations 1:13 From above hath he sent fire into my bones, and it prevaileth against them: he hath spread a net for my feet, he hath turned me back: he hath made me desolate [and] faint all the day.

 1:14 The yoke of my transgressions is bound by his hand: they are wreathed, [and] come up upon my neck: he hath made my strength to fall, the Lord hath delivered me into [their] hands, [from whom] I am not able to rise up.

Look and look long enough. If you feel somebody has transgressed against you and the grief is so horrifying that it makes you want to die, look at Jesus. We do not have to suffer nowhere near what Jesus did by the transgressions of humanity upon Him compared to a few people upon me. With the memory of your suffering under someone’s transgression against you, can you say with the one who is feeling your grief and more regarding those ones who have created grief to you, can you say what He said? Father forgive them for they know not what they do. He against whom we have sinned more than against anyone else. Against thee and thee only have I sinned. He is the one we have done the worst damage to and we think I have had damage done to me? He whom we have pierced and grieved by our transgressions expired with the sentiment of ‘Father forgive them for they know not what they do’. That was the spirit of our Lord Jesus Christ. Take a longer look at Jesus. Here is Jesus in the deepest moments of His anguish;

Matthew 26:38 Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me. 26:40 And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour? 26:41 Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed [is] willing, but the flesh [is] weak.

Have you ever really wanted the support of someone in your life and you needed it at the most crucial moment of your emotional experience and they let you down? What happened to Jesus? His disciples, Peter, James and John the beloved weren’t there for Him.

Rising from His prostrate position, He came to His disciples and found them sleeping. He said unto Peter: “What, could ye not watch with Me one hour? At the most important time–the time when Jesus had made a special request for them to watch with Him–the disciples were found sleeping. He knew that severe conflicts and terrible temptations were before them. He had taken them with Him that they might be a strength to Him, and that the events they should witness that night, and the lessons of instruction they should receive, might be indelibly printed upon their memories. {2T 204.2}

Why did He take them with Him? That they may be a strength to Him. He really wanted to help them and now He needed their help and in the process of trying to help them, He needed their help.

This was necessary that their faith might not fail, but be strengthened for the test just before them. {2T 204.2}

  But instead of watching with Christ, they were burdened with sorrow, and fell asleep. Even the ardent Peter, who, only a few hours before, had declared that he would suffer and, if need be, die for his Lord, was asleep. {2T 204.3}

How much could He rely on the words of a man? Have you relied on peoples words and they have let you down?

At the most critical moment, when the Son of God was in need of their sympathy and heartfelt prayers, they were found asleep. {2T 204.3}

How do you deal with such let downs? Do you say oh forget it you lot? If you can’t help me then I may as well go take care of myself but look at Jesus. Look at him there. What did He say when He was let down and hurt on the cross by our sins?

Matthew 26:41 Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed [is] willing, but the flesh [is] weak.

What is He expressing?

And John, the loving disciple who had leaned upon the breast of Jesus, was asleep. Surely, the love of John for his Master should have kept him awake. His earnest prayers should have mingled with those of his loved Saviour in the time of His supreme sorrow. {DA 689.1}

  The disciples awakened at the voice of Jesus, but they hardly knew Him, His face was so changed by anguish. Addressing Peter, Jesus said, “Simon, sleepest thou? couldest not thou watch one hour? Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. The spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is weak.” The weakness of His disciples awakened the sympathy of Jesus. He feared that they would not be able to endure the test which would come upon them in His betrayal and death. He did not reprove them, but said, “Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation.” Even in His great agony, He was seeking to excuse their weakness. “The spirit truly is ready,” He said, “but the flesh is weak.” {DA 689.2}

The spirit indeed is willing. I know that you would want to but your flesh is weak. I did need you. Please watch and pray. At this supreme moment and anguish and need of someone to support Him, He sees their failure of it. What is His attitude? I know you really want to do the right thing but the flesh is weak. He didn’t say you’ve let me down, you’ve hurt me. The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak. I understand. Sympathy for transgression, sympathy for being let down. Look at a contrast in action among the disciples and Jesus.

Gaze Upon Jesus

Luke 9:51 And it came to pass, when the time was come that he should be received up, he stedfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem,

 9:52 And sent messengers before his face: and they went, and entered into a village of the Samaritans, to make ready for him.

 9:53 And they did not receive him, because his face was as though he would go to Jerusalem.

Jesus had been witnessing to the woman at the well. The Samaritans loved Him and now they saw that He was going to Jerusalem and He wanted accommodation with them and they said no, if you are going to Jerusalem you can’t stay with us.

Luke 9:54 And when his disciples James and John saw [this], they said, Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did?

 9:55 But he turned, and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of.

 9:56 For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save [them]. And they went to another village.

Can you see what spirit dwells in you and me and what spirit dwells in Jesus? Father forgive them. At the moment of His heart break, at the moment of being let down by His very beloved disciples, His spirit was compassion, sympathy and love but the disciples themselves and you and I who are benefactors of this beautiful gospel, what do we do in our knowledge of what is right and wrong? We are reformers, we know exactly what we shall be doing in regards to commandments. When we know one amongst us has committed a serious sin, what spirit are we of? Jesus said you know not what manner of spirit you are of.

Is not the spirit of God and Jesus the same? He said that when the Son of man cometh, it will not be I that judgeth or condemns you, the words that I have spoken will judge you. He is still the same, He is still filled with grief and His spirit is never any different. As we take this close look at Jesus, we who know the laws demands and the consequence of transgression, do we forget our transgressions when we feel transgressed against? Do we lament over the mistreatments of those who have transgressed against me? Do I harbour my feelings or do I look to Jesus and see a totally different spirit?

Can you, in full view of the cross, beholding by the eye of faith the sufferings of Christ, tell your tale of woe, your trials? Can you nurse revenge of your enemies in your heart while the prayer of Christ comes from His pale and quivering lips for His revilers, His murderers–“Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34)? . . . {TMK 65.3}

How important it is it to behold Christ. Yes transgression of the law is terribly serious, it grieves unto death, yea even the death of the cross of Jesus Christ. Which grief is worst? Yours or His? As you see His love, will you permit His love to envelope your transgressions and your grief in Him? This is our choice. He has come to envelope your grief in Himself. Which will you do? Let Him envelope your grief by that enveloping love that He actually has.

This word envelope has many different meanings. To be enveloped by someone means to be totally inside of that person. Jesus is prepared to envelope those persons who have transgressed against Him in His very bosom. If He is prepared to do that with you and you pick up on that love, will you envelope those that transgress against you?

1 John 4:7 Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.

 Have you come to know Him as the word has penetrated?

1 John 4:8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.

4:9 In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.

 The cankering grief can be cancelled.

 1 John 4:10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son [to be] the propitiation for our sins.

If we have been enveloped by this love;

1 John 4:11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.

This love is a different love than is natural for us. Fancy that I should envelope someone who has grieved me deep inside. Impossible, you can’t but look at Jesus long enough. Keep on gazing on Him. You can’t force yourself to love or forgive anyone but you can open your heart to Jesus. Open your heart to Jesus and the pain is relieved in Jesus Christ. The choice is ours. Can I resist such love? What about you? I can’t. May God help us to open wide to this beautiful picture of Jesus.

Amen.

Posted on October 3, 2009, in Beholding Christ, Divine Service Sermons, Forgiveness, Sermons by John Thiel and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s