The forgiveness of sins - Page 3



The importance of forgiveness

Jesus was born and died that we might be forgiven

Sin separates us from God, and it was in order to save us from being separated from God for ever by our sins that Jesus came into the world.  He knew before he came that he would be crucified, but that was a price he was willing to pay to save your soul and mine.  So he was born in Bethlehem that we might be forgiven, and he died on the Cross that we might be forgiven.  At the Last Supper, as he looked ahead to his Crucifixion the next day, he said, “…this is my blood…which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins” (NRSV, Matthew 26:28).  And at the very moment that he was being nailed to the Cross on Good Friday he prayed, “Father, forgive them…” (NRSV, Luke 23:34). 

What the Crucifixion tells us

So the Crucifixion tells us two things.  It shows how much God loves us and how much he hates sin.  He would never have gone through all that unless he loved us more than we can ever know.  But equally he would never have gone through all that unless he hated our sins more than we can ever know.  Since, therefore, Jesus was actually crucified to take away our sins and to give us forgiveness, we can see how important it must be that we should gain that forgiveness.  For, if we are not forgiven, then as far as we are concerned, Jesus laid down his life for nothing.

The first thing Jesus did after his Crucifixion and Resurrection was to give his Apostles the authority and power to forgive sins in his name.  That same power and authority is given to priests of the Church of God when they are ordained to the priesthood.