In 2018 Botham Jean was sitting in his own apartment when the unthinkable happened. Amber Guyger, a police officer, entered Botham’s apartment, mistakenly believing it was her own and assuming Botham was a burglar. She shot him, ending his life. Thirteen months later, when Guyger was sentenced to ten years in prison, Botham’s brother, Brandt, took the witness stand to speak: “I hope you go to God with all the guilt. . . . I forgive you. I love you just like anyone else.”
Brandt then asked the judge, “Can I give her a hug?” Once granted, he leapt out of his chair and met Amber in the middle of the courtroom. She collapsed into his arms, and he embraced her for an entire minute (!) and spoke words of forgiveness into her ear.
Such shocking grace should move you, but it shouldn’t surprise you. After all, that’s what the gospel says every day: “When [Jesus] suffered, he made no threats. . . . ‘He himself bore our sins’ in his body on the cross” (1 Peter 2:23,24). Jesus didn’t threaten to get us back for our sins. Instead, he handed everything over to God and suffered so that we could be saved.
Then, on Easter morning, Jesus asked his Father, “Can I give them a hug?” Once granted, he leapt out of the grave and spoke grace into our ears, not just for a minute but for every minute of all eternity.
That’s why we love Jesus. He forgives the worst of us and the worst in us!