Who bears the cost of forgiveness?

Christians know the importance, the necessity of forgiveness. There are so many Biblical references both to forgiving and being forgiven. We can’t love unless we can forgive.

We far too often associate forgiveness with simply wiping the slate clean. We treat forgiveness as though whatever is being forgiven, the offense or debt, simply disappears. In most situations, this simply is not the case. A wonderful example is the Parable of the Wicked (or Unforgiving) Servant (Matthew 18:21-35):

21Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?

22Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.

23Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants.

24And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents.

25But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made.

26The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.

27Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt.

28But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellowservants, which owed him an hundred pence: and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, saying, Pay me that thou owest.

29And his fellowservant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.

30And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt.

31So when his fellowservants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done.

32Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me:

33Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee?

34And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him.

35So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.

So, what happened to that unbelievable sum of debt? Forgiven, yes. But it did not simply disappear. That cost was borne by the king, the one doing the forgiving. It came “out of his pocket.”

We can’t both forgive and begrudge!

When we forgive a debt or trespass, we can’t continue to begrudge the cost to us. That negates the forgiveness. Just think about how often we see others doing exactly that. It’s like the unpaid but forgiven debt that remains (forever seemingly) on a credit report. Perhaps each of us have been guilty of this “begrudging” ourselves. When we forgive, we MUST be fully willing to assume the cost of the debt or trespass.

What it cost God to forgive our debts (sins).

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. – John 3:16

It is God (Father and Son) who bear the cost of forgiveness of our sins. THAT my friends, is sacrifice! Pause. Ponder the enormous cost of that forgiveness. They did this in love and do not begrudge the cost.

So… which will we be? Will we accept forgiveness and still be unforgiving like the wicked servant? Will we begrudge the cost to us of true forgiveness.


Will we actually do what we pray:

“Forgive us our debts (sins or trespasses) as we forgive our debtors (those who sin or trespass against us.”

It can seem so complicated, so difficult. But I have found that this is generally not the case when we put our trust in God.

It is simply a choice.

Shalom, Art
Alive in The Word

My thanks to Pastor Adam for his message on this all important topic.


About aliveintheword

Missouri, USA Married to Marty, 45 years 2 sons (with 2 daughers-in-law) and 2 granddaughters Life dedicated to serving Jesus Christ and delivering the Good News
This entry was posted in CHRISTIAN FOUNDATIONS OF BELIEF, CHRISTIAN LIFE AND THE WORD and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Who bears the cost of forgiveness?

  1. ptl2010 says:

    Reblogged this on ChristianBlessings and commented:

    There is a cost of forgiveness – a realistic expectation.

  2. Pingback: Whosoever desires to become great and the first among you, let him be your servant and your slave (Matthew 20:26-27) | God Loves Bummyla

  3. Pingback: The Unforgiving Debtor « The Daily Bible Plan

  4. writinggomer says:

    Great post with a great truth. Trying to imagine the literal cost to God of our forgiveness is simply put mind blowing…I can’t do it, even though I have often wrote about it. My paltry words are as nothing.
    God allowed part of Himself to be killed, to die…for me. God endured horrible suffering because I have done wrong.
    God paid my price tag of death, so that I would not have to.
    On top of all that, He forgave me!
    And when I come to Him and say. Father I screwed up again, please forgive me….God says ok, done.
    No I can’t imagine all that, the cost, the ability to do this all for me. Nope can’t do it.
    Thank you Lord, thank you…

  5. granbee says:

    We MUST honor the huge price paid for our own forgiveness by forgiving in our own turn. amen

  6. When I consider the cost to my Saviour – the perfect, sinless One who became sin for me, and endured separation from His Father for the only time in eternity, and who bore the wrath of the Father as it was poured out on my sin . . .
    When I consider the cost to my heavenly Father – as He gave His Son to be so cruelly treated because of His love for me, and as He poured out His wrath on my sin in His Son . . .
    When I consider that my Saviour TOOK my sin and GAVE me His own righteousness in its place . . .

    How can I do other than forgive? The absolute worst that anyone can do to me is but the tiniest tap when compared with what my Saviour and my Father endured to forgive me.

    What an amazing Saviour!
    What an amazing God!
    What an amazing forgiveness!

  7. ansuyo says:

    Forgiveness is an incredibly hard concept for so many, but such a necessary one for living a whole life. Keeping in mind what Christ forgave me of, when He had done no wrong, helps me remember to forgive others and wipe the debt clean – no begrudging. Sometimes it takes a bit of time to work it all the way through, but it is still a choice. Good post. 🙂 Angie

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