“Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven—for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little.” And he said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” Luke 7:47-48
When Jesus ate at the home of one of the Pharisees, a sinful woman came to anoint Jesus’ feet. Knowing what the Pharisee thought of the woman, Jesus told a parable about two debtors who were forgiven by a moneylender of their debts, one much larger than the other. When Jesus asked the man who would love the moneylender more, he answered the one with the larger debt. Jesus then told him that the sinful woman’s sins were many and yet forgiven. He then turns to the woman and pronounces absolution to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”
It is a beautiful scene where the Holy One of Israel, whose feet are washed by a sinful woman, tells her that her sins are washed away. But Jesus does not just speak words of forgiveness. He actually becomes the means of her forgiveness. Our Lord hangs upon the tree of the cross for the forgiveness of the sins for the sinful woman and for all sinners. The One who offers Himself on the cross for the forgiveness of our sins also offers Himself to us in the Lord’s Supper as He gives to us His body and blood for the forgiveness of all of our sins.
Dear friends, we confess in Luther’s explanation to the Fifth Petition, “we daily sin much.” The debt that the Lord has cancelled for sinners such as us is enormous. Since our merciful Lord has forgiven us so much, we are moved to respond to our Lord in love. For our Lord did not just forgive us, but He became forgiveness for us by enduring the cross and feeding us with His own body and blood. How truly blessed we are as people forgiven by God! We are His baptized and forgiven children, bought by the precious blood of Jesus, shed on the cross. We love God because He has forgiven us and continues to love us so much.
Prayer – O merciful God, we give thanks to You for cancelling the debt of our sins. But You did not just pronounce us forgiven, but You sent Your Son Jesus, to offer Himself as a sacrifice on the altar of the cross for our forgiveness. May Your forgiveness and love move our hearts to love You above all things; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
Fraternally in Christ,
President Lee Hagan