The Cross Frees You to Forgive

“We know that our old life died with Christ on the cross so that our sinful selves would have no power over us."

Romans 6:6 (NCV)

Jesus broke the power of sin on the cross. Romans 6:6 says, “We know that our old life died with Christ on the cross so that our sinful selves would have no power over us” (NCV). This is great news, especially because our natural inclination is to do the wrong thing.

It’s our natural, human inclination to hurt others when they hurt us. If someone says something bad about you, you want to say something bad about them. We tend to hold on to hurts and struggle to forgive.

But you can break that bondage to bitterness, guilt, resentment, and worry. You can avoid becoming a slave to the past and to hurtful memories. You can choose to forgive.

What hurt are you hanging on to? Let me ask you a very important question about that hurt: How badly do you want to be healed of it? Do you want to let it go? Maybe you’ve gone over it a thousand times in your mind—what your parents did, what your sibling did, what your spouse did. Every time you think about it, it still hurts.

The cross has the power to free you from grudges, grief, and resentment. There’s nothing outside of the cross that will empower you to let go of the emotions that are weighing you down. On the cross, Jesus broke the power of sin, death, and bondage in your life.

I want you to think of the person you need to forgive—the person whose offense planted a seed of bitterness in you—and I want you to pray this prayer right now:

“Father, only you understand how much I’ve been hurt by this person. I don’t want to carry the pain for another second. I don’t want to be a bitter person. But I need your grace and the power of the cross to release my hurt and to forgive those who’ve hurt me. This is the turning point.

“First, I need to experience your forgiveness. You know all the ways I’ve hurt others, and I’m so sorry for my sins. Jesus, thank you for dying for me. I accept your grace and forgiveness, and I need it daily.

“Today I’m turning to you, and I’m choosing to forgive like you’ve forgiven me. Every time the memory comes back, I’ll forgive that person again until the pain is gone. Heal my heart with your grace. In Jesus’ name. Amen.”

Talk It Over

  • What hurt are you holding on to?
  • What emotions from that hurt are weighing you down?
  • What step will you take this week to prepare your heart to forgive that person?

Give hope, prayer, and encouragement below. Post a comment & talk about it.