Listen to the pleas of Solomon, “Of your people Israel, when they pray toward this place, listen from heaven your dwelling place, and when you hear, forgive” (2Chronicles 6:21). “If your people Israel are defeated before the enemy because they have sinned against you, and they turn again and acknowledge your name and pray and plead with you in this house, then hear from heaven and forgive the sin of your people Israel” (vv 24-25). “Hear in heaven and forgive the sin of your servants, your people Israel” (v 27). “Hear from heaven your dwelling place and forgive” (v 30).
Solomon anticipates great sin, so he asks for great forgiveness. “If they sin against you–for there is no one who does not sin–if they turn their heart repent and plead with you, saying, ‘We have sinned and have acted perversely and wickedly,’ if they repent with all their mind and with all their heart then hear from heaven your dwelling place their prayer and their pleas, and maintain their cause and forgive your people who have sinned against you” (vv 36-38).
God’s answer came quickly, “As soon as Solomon finished his prayer, fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices, and the glory of the Lord filled the temple. They bowed down with their faces to the ground on the pavement and worshiped and gave thanks to the Lord, saying, ‘For he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever’” (2Chronicles 7:1, 3). Our God forgives.
She had an excuse for not coming to church, “Oh, but you don’t know what I’ve done,” she explained. “I’m not the kind of person God could ever forgive.”
They cried out again, “Crucify him” (Mark 15:13). Then they spit in his face and struck him. And some slapped him, saying, “Prophesy to us, you Christ! Who is it that struck you?” (Matthew 26:67-68). Pilate said to them, “Shall I crucify your King?” The chief priests answered, “We have no king but Caesar” (John 19:15). They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, and twisting together a crown of thorns, they put it on his head and put a reed in his right hand. And kneeling before him, they mocked him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” And they spit on him and took the reed and struck him on the head (Matthew 27:28-30). They kept shouting, “Crucify, crucify him!” (Luke 23:21). So they took Jesus, and he went out, bearing his own cross, to the place called The Place of a Skull, which in Aramaic is called Golgotha. There they crucified him (John 19:16-18).
Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34).
“You’re right, I don’t know what you’ve done, what kind of person you are,” I said. “But here’s what I do know. I know what Jesus has done and what kind of Savior he is and what kind of person God forgives and how great is his grace.”
Loving Father, Your love endures. I’ve put it to the test! So have others. All of us. And yet Your love lasts forever and forgiveness is always in front of me. So, God, thank You for forgiving me by the blood of Your Son.
God, may I live life with confidence, not in my own strength, but in the absolute certainty that Your Son did everything needed to restore my relationship with You forever. Your love endures forever.