The Gift of Forgiveness
Again, it is important to see this passage through the lens that we described in v. 12. Jesus mainly wants us to understand this as descriptive, not prescriptive.
We forgive others to the degree we understand we are forgiven by God.
Therefore, when we are violated by others, it is subversive, but the best path we can take is to first go to God, who loved us while we were enemies and be reminded of His grace toward us.
Then, when we learn to equip ourselves with the words Jesus prayed on The Cross “Father, forgive them. They know not what they do.” (Stephen took these same words on when he was stoned to death in Acts) It is when we see the transformative power that even Jesus did not try to conjure up forgiveness (He prayed “Father forgive” not “I forgive”) that we see the great gift of forgiveness.
We actually are able to walk in forgiveness towards others to the degree we rest in our own forgiveness.
Therefore, I hope you would see the depth of another person’s violation is never the main focus of forgiveness.
The violation is real and many times it is significant, yet it simply is not ultimate.
His grace and His desire to truly give us the gift of forgiveness with Him allows us to pass the ocean of the grace to forgive others on to them. We forgive others as we truly know our own forgiveness.