Forgiveness: the Road Less Traveled
Luke 23:34, Eph 4:32

Luke 23:34
34 But Jesus was saying, "Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing." And they cast lots, dividing up His garments among themselves. (NAS)

Heb 7:25
25 Hence, also, He is able to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them. (NAS)
 

Introduction
The Forgiveness Road is the less traveled road. But; Everyone needs to give forgiveness. Everyone needs to receive forgiveness.

Let me sight an experience my wife and I had this week. We needed to go by the Battlefield Mall Wednesday after the convention. She needed to go to one shop and I needed to go to another. I told her we will meet at the TCBY store.

I waited and waited no wife. Finally I walked slowly and deliberated down the mall. I saw CHRISTA coming towards me and she said "where have you been." I said "at the TCBY store where I told you I would meet you. In fact I said it two different times." Well I did not get mad even though I was in the right. I needed to give forgiveness.

Thursday I dropped Christa off at the Post Office and I went down to the college. I told her I would be right back to get her, I just needed to drop something off at the college. Twenty minutes later I was sitting in my office and Christa called from the Post Office, and ask if we were meeting at TCBY. I said "what are you talking about;" and she replied I am still at the Post Office. I needed to receive forgiveness.

So even though my example are simple matters related to giving and receiving forgiveness. They illustrate how we need to be forgiving people. We need to walk the road of Forgiveness.
 
 
 

1.    Why Walk The Less Traveled Road Of Forgiveness?
Because of Christ Example.

A.    Christ Example as He Forgave.  (Past Tense)

Luke 23:34
34 But Jesus was saying, "Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing." And they cast lots, dividing up His garments among themselves. (NAS)

    1. Relates to Past, Present, Future.

Illustration
A Sunday School teacher wanted to quit. She had replaced a lady who had taught the class for several years. The class members were very unkind to this new teacher. She finally came into the preacher and said "I want to turn in my resignation,

The pastor said "I'll accept if you can tell me you have suffered as much as Christ suffered.

The lady stayed in the class and won the hearts of the ladies.
 

B.    Christ Example as He Forgives.  (Present and Future)

Heb 7:25
25 Hence, also, He is able to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them. (NAS)

I Jn 2:1
1 My little children, I am writing these things to you that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; (NAS)

    1. Relates to Present Sins.
 

Illustration
Secret Service agents have a tough job. In the case of an assassination attempt, it's their job to throw their body in the path of the bullet in order to save the President. Secret Service agents are willing to do such a thing because they believe that the President is so valuable to our country that he is worth dying for. They wouldn't be willing to take a bullet for just anybody.

At the cross, the situation was reversed. The President of the Universe took a bullet for each of us. At the cross, we find out just how valuable we are to God.

Application

John 3:16, Tells us of Jesus example. He gave His life to forgive. We will be blessed to follow His example.
 
 
 

2.    Why Walk The Less Traveled Road Of Forgiveness?
Because of Christ' Teachings. 
A.    Jesus Taught the . . Necessity of Forgiveness.

Matt 6:14-15
14 "For if you forgive men for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.
15 "But if you do not forgive men, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions. (NAS)
 

B.    Jesus Taught the Nature of Forgiveness.

Luke 17:3-4 (NAS)
3 "Be on your guard! If your brother sins, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him.   4 "And if he sins against you seven times a day, and returns to you seven times, saying, 'I repent,' forgive him."

    1. Forgiveness and Rebuking Sin. (Not the sinner)

    2. Forgiveness and Repenting.

    3 Forgiveness and Returning. (Or turning)

    4. Forgiveness and Requirements. v 21 (do good)

Illustration
Back in the days of American slavery in the South, there was a beautiful black girl who was put on the slave block to be sold. A very cruel and brutal slave owner began to bid for her, and every time he would up his bid, the girl would cringe with fear. A plantation owner who was kind to his slaves was also there, and seeing what was happening, he began to bid against the cruel master, and eventually outbid him and won the sale. He put down his money and then began to walk away.

The slave girl started to follow him. But he turned to her and said, "You misunderstand. I didn't buy you because I needed a slave. I bought you in order to spare you from that wretched master and to set you free."

She simply stood there, stunned for a moment. She then fell to her knees, saying, "I want to serve a Master like you forever!"

Application

Every body has a master. It may be a terrible habit or a consuming hobby. Everyone desires a Master like the Lord Jesus. As His children we must remember He taught us about forgiveness.
 
 
 
 

3.    Why Walk The Road Less Traveled?
Because of Christ Rewards.

A.    The Reward of Peace with God.

Rom 5:1
1 Therefore having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, NAS)

    1.    Justification Includes Forgiveness.

B.    The Reward of Peace with Others.

Rom 12:18-21
18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men. 19 Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath {of God,} for it is written, "Vengeance is Mine, I will repay," says the Lord. 20 "But if your enemy is hungry, feed him, and if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap burning coals upon his head." 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. (NAS)

    1.    It Depends on You. (Lieth in you)

    2.    Depends on God. v 19

    3.    It Depends on Doing Good.
 

C.    The Reward of Peace To Share.

Ps 51:13
13 {Then} I will teach transgressors Thy ways, and sinners will be converted to Thee. (NAS)
 

Illustration
The pastor of First Baptist Church Ft. Smith Arkansas was

Dr. J. Harold Smith. About a year ago he preached in a service in Southwest Missouri. He is around 85 years of age.

In this meeting he related that his wife was his sweetheart since they went to a one room school and were in the third grade. He said when he was a boy he would get in trouble and have to stay after school. His little girl friend would write him a note and say

"I will walk real slow so you can run and catch up with me.

At the time of this revival wife was very sick and he debated whether to leave her or not. She encouraged him to go to the meeting. She finally managed to write him a note and it read If the Lord calls me home I will walk real slow so you can run and catch up with me.

We will be blessed if we walk on the Forgiveness road.
 

Conclusion

Remember We have Christ:

Example.

TEACHINGS

REWARDS
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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And Beyond.    Amen?    Amen!