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"Does Jesus Christ's death on the cross truly mean all sins are forgiven?" by Catherine Mendenhall-Baugh (CatholicMom.com) Pixabay (2016), CC0 Public Domain[/caption] God sent His son Jesus into the world for the purpose of leading everyone back to Him. But how does this happen? We are all sinners, so how do we find our way to God? The most important way is to repent and gain forgiveness for our wrongdoings. The forgiveness of all sins began with Christ on the cross. We saw in the story of the Passion of Christ that Jesus’ suffering would allow us back to him. It seems pretty incredible when you think about the power of that gift on Good Friday so many years ago. Being given the opportunity to forgive all your sins seems like a wonderful gift. Don’t you wonder sometimes how God can absolve all sins? For example, you’ve seen stories about horrible crimes committed and said to yourself, "I could never forgive someone who committed a horrible crime against someone I loved. I truly don’t see how that person can be forgiven by God." Then again, we find it hard to forget our own sins and forgive ourselves -- sometimes even after we have confessed them. Some sins just don’t seem forgivable. Jesus knew we would wrestle with this.
“And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving each other just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.” Ephesians 4:32
The gift of forgiveness comes from repentance of our sins. It is the basis for the Sacrament of Reconciliation. John 20:21-23 clarifies why this is such an essential Sacrament.
“Jesus said to them (disciples): ‘Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.’ And when He had said this he breathed on them and said ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained.’”
Jesus says on the cross, “It is finished.” (John 19:30) The penalty of our sins was paid in full on the cross. There are so many references throughout the Bible which clearly encourages followers of Jesus to come to Him for forgiveness of sins. This is why His blood was shed.
“This condemnation will never come to those who are in Christ Jesus, because the law of the Spirit which gives life in Christ Jesus has set you from the law of sin and death.” Romans 8:1-2
God is all-knowing. He has been aware of who we are since the moment we were conceived. Every breath, every conversation, every moment of our life is known to God. Just like parents know their children will make mistakes growing up, so too, God knows we will sin. Our lives are a constant road leading to God. I told my children when they were growing up there is nothing they could do that I couldn’t forgive. I love them more than anything in the world. I’m just a mom, but I truly believed this with all my heart. God’s capacity to love is so much more. I’m certain God feels about all of us the way any parent feels about their children -- and much more. That is why we know God will forgive us our sins; all of them. He proved this when He sent Jesus to show us the way. When you proclaim your sins to God, know that His capacity to love you is so great it’s allowing you forgiveness.
Copyright 2018 Catherine Mendenhall-Baugh