When God wanted to assure us that we are forgiven of our sins, he didn’t simply say that we’re forgiven. He followed through with pouring out His wrath on Christ Jesus for the sins of the whole world including ours.
How often does something happen to us at work, then when we get home we pour out our wrath on our loved ones? How often do we bitterly argue with our spouses or friends, and follow through with condemning the kids or even our co-workers at the office? In doing so, we forgave the ones who caused us the harms we felt and condemned the ones who have no idea why they’re being condemned.
The question I have for all of us is when we forgive someone, who ends up paying the cost? Is it us or another person having no idea of why they’re being put down? Naturally, the cost has to be paid one way or another. If the bank forgives our loan, or whatever amount that we owe them, they either have to take the loss which may look terrible on their portfolio to investors or they have to prove to investors the prospect of increased interest rates to others who may be new borrowers in the hope of compensating for such loss.
It is said that when insurance companies finally come to bail out the insured, they’ve already contemplated of how they would push back those losses on others if not the same person they just bailed out.
So, are we to internalize our losses? Are we to be burnt out with wrath or guilt condemning ourselves as the cause of our sufferings? Are we to have our kids, spouses, or subordinates pay for the harms we have suffered in our lifetime?
Paul clarified that there’s no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Does that mean that we’re to seek for unbelievers and condemn them since they don’t yet believe in Jesus? No. They don’t yet believe in Jesus as much as we too at one time had believed in everything and everyone else but Jesus. And John gracefully helped us understand that the same sacrifice that the church exists by is the same sacrifice that the whole world is forgiven by.
“He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.” (1 John 2:2)
Without acknowledging the sacrifice of Christ as our only way out, the only option remained is self-condemnation. Without Christ, when we hurt, we could easily conclude ourselves as not being strong or smart enough. As a result, we would find ourselves on a restless journey of trying to prove that we’re strong or competent. Even worse, to prove our strength we would often prey on the weak and embarrass them as we too were once embarrassed.
Wrath and guilt are like energy. They cannot be destroyed by any human mean but can only be transferred from one to another. An eye for an eye is a wrath-and-guilt preservation mechanism. No one is free by such principle. Everyone is condemned. Turning the other cheek without bringing the wrath to Christ is just as destructive to the self or others down the road.
Therefore, what is the healthy thing to do when we forgive another or ourselves? How do we truly forgive ourselves and others? By pouring out our wrath and sins on Christ as God had done. Without doing so, we become a bomb ready to explode on others under the specific condition. Without doing so we become self-destructive always blaming ourselves for our shortfalls.
Agreeing with abuse is never a good thing to anyone of a sane mindset. Our bitterly reactions always make things worse than ever. Therefore, if or when someone sinned against us, what are we to do? Bring the wrath to Christ Jesus, the sacrifice for our sins. We sinned against others? Bring the sins to Christ Jesus, the sacrifice for our sins. Evidently, Christ Jesus is the answer to both the one who has sinned and the one who is burdened with wrath suffered from others.
Isaiah, by God’s Spirit, had foreseen this transaction and illustrated it as such,
“But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.” (Isaiah 53:5)
The calling of Jesus to rest and peace is a continuous one,
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)
Have you newly found or experienced something that’s either causing you guilt or anger, bring such to Jesus, the one who’s quite familiar with pains and suffering of unimaginable proportions.
By grace, we are free to vent to Jesus through prayer whatever is causing us restlessness and discomfort.
You can easily become restless with guilt you have internalized. You can easily become restless by the pressure and condemnation others have laid upon you. The good news is that Jesus, Christ Jesus, called all of mankind to come and receive, come and welcome rest from him. His yoke is one of understanding, one of joy, one of love, one of peace, and not one of wrath and guilt. In mentally taking his understanding upon ourselves, we gracefully learn from him.
This is why God foretold of his new covenant, “For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.” (Hebrews 8:12)
We are not to forgive some and condemn some. We are not to forgive others and condemn ourselves. By the grace of God, we are to forgive both ourselves and others and bring both our sins and wrath to Christ Jesus, the only one person dedicated by God to handle both our sins and wrath. Is God’s wrath sufficient for our sins? Most definitely. The vertical bar of the cross representing God’s provision is always longer than the horizontal bar which represents the deeds of mankind. In any dimension you look at the work of God through Christ Jesus, it is always exceedingly sufficient to guarantee us our joy, peace and rest.
The natural law of sin is simply that if it is manifested, someone has to pay dearly. It’s either us or someone else. And Jesus is the only who can absorb our sins and wraths so that no debt collectors have any leverage to come and knock at our door for non-payment.
Christ, Jesus, is the end of wrath and guilt to the benefit of mankind to the glory of God.