There’s a difference between forgiveness and reconciliation. Forgiveness is when you make the daily choice not to get back at the person who sinned against you. You refuse to hurt him because he first hurt you. But reconciliation goes a step further. It restores, reunites, and rejoins separated people. If you’re like me, you know that forgiveness is hard but that reconciliation is even harder!
That’s one more reason why I adore Jesus. After his friend Peter sinned against him, denying that he even knew who Jesus was (Luke 22:60), our Lord made sure to reconnect with Peter after the resurrection. “Follow me!” Jesus invited him, just as he had three years earlier, long before Peter’s epic failure (John 21:19). It would have been pure grace for Jesus to forgive Peter and then end their friendship. But it was grace on top of grace (on top of grace!) for Jesus to welcome Peter back to the table and call him his follower and friend.
Isn’t that wonderful? When you sin, even in embarrassing ways, Jesus does more than forgive you. He refuses to let you wander through life alone, forgiven but far from him. Instead, Jesus reconciles with you, draws you close, and assures you that you are still his follower and friend. While true reconciliation might be rare in our broken world, it is the promise that the gospel makes to you. Believe it and enjoy that promise today!