The Most Powerful Words in the Universe
It's rare to see the face of evil and the face of God juxtaposed so closely together as we witnessed on Friday, June 19th. Just two days before, Dylann Roof had sat in a Bible study in the Charleston Emanuel AME Church and then brazenly shot nine of his fellow small group members. Now he appeared in court for his bail hearing. Family members of the slain were given the opportunity to speak to Dylann via video feed. Many shared their pain, but then some uttered the words of God, "I forgive you."
Forgiveness is not our natural response towards those who have hurt us. Revenge? Of course. We even had a TV series named after this one. We want to get even. We want to reciprocate in kind. We want the offender to pay and pay dearly.
Not so with these disciples of Jesus. They took Jesus seriously when He called His followers to "turn the other cheek" and "pray for their enemies." Jesus lived out His teachings on the cross. Looking down at those who hated Him, He uttered the immortal words, "Father, forgive them."
How is this world to be healed? How will race relations get better? Not just through better education, a reformed penal system, a bigger armed force or a slicker ad campaign. It's going to really get better when the heart of each person is transformed by the words of God, "I forgive you."
He speaks these words to you, and to all of us. Come to the cross where Jesus died, receive His forgiveness and then be transformed by His amazing grace. Then you will be ready to pass it along to others.