Sin is like walking down a hill. Every step we take makes it more difficult to return. How far down the hill are you today? Sometimes our sin crushes us so greatly that we can’t imagine being on top of the hill again, even after we hear these words from God: “I forgive you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” Can it really be true?
A prostitute found Jesus at a Pharisee’s house. Though uninvited, she went in anyway with a jar of perfume. She wet his feet with her tears, kissed them, and poured perfume on them. What do you suppose Jesus did? Jesus did what Jesus does. He gave her what she needed, not just for this life but for the one to come. “Then Jesus said to her, ‘Your sins are forgiven’” (Luke 7:48). It is true.
Not far from New York City is a cemetery with a grave that has just one word on the tombstone: “FORGIVEN.” There’s nothing else. No name, no date of birth or death, no word of praise for the departed, just the one word, “FORGIVEN.” What other word could you need?
We can’t walk back up the hill. Jesus had to come down to save us on the cross. But he did that to be able to seat us with him in heaven. Now FORGIVEN is the only word you need on your tombstone.