Posted by: forfreedomalone | 19/11/2013

……….as we forgive our debtors.

The “Lord’s Prayer” has become probably everything it was never intended to be.
Weekly it is recited in churches all over the world as the major prayer of the service. It is recited in the belief that when Jesus said “When you pray, say…..” he actually meant “repeat these words”.

Repeating those words is meaningless as they were never meant to be repeated and they were a guide line to people pre-Cross. The only value of the Lord’s Prayer to us now is a template for thanksgiving.

But I wanted to focus on this one section, “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us” or “forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors”.
Jesus is telling the people to forgive as they have been forgiven. That sounds like a cop-out rather than a bar raising statement. I could get away with never forgiving if I feel I have never been forgiven, after all, it says forgive as you have been forgiven.

If I feel that the world is against me, that everybody hates me and that eating worms is my only option, then I am released from forgiving anyone anything by Jesus own words. Correct?
Not a bit of it.

Jesus was speaking to Jews.
This is a very important thing to remember whenever we don’t understand what he was talking about, because we need to dig into the meaning of his words in the context of Judaism and we will then understand what he was saying. I am not suggesting they were only applicable to Jews, but that their meaning will become clearer in light of Judism, as I hope you will see.

He was talking about forgiving in the same was you were forgiven.
How would this apply to pre-Cross Jews?
Everyone of them would know what he was talking about because everyone of them would know their Torah and everyone of them would know about the Year of Jubilee.

In the book of Leviticus God tells the people about all the things he wants them to do in relating to him, to one another and to the land.
In Chapter 25 he says “You will count seven weeks of years, seven times seven years, so that the time of the seven weeks of years shall give you forty nine years. Then you shall sound a loud trumpet on the tenth day of the seventh month. On the Day of Atonement you shall sound the trumpet throughout all your land and you shall consecrate the fiftieth year and proclaim liberty throughout the land to all inhabitants. It shall be a jubilee to you…….”

Every Jew knew about the Day of Atonement and every Jew knew about the Year of Jubilee.

The Day of Atonement was the day of repentance of Israel. The day on which they as a nation were to come before God in sorrow and repentance for the sins of the past year. This day was observed every year, but on the 50th year it was different, because on that Day of Atonement when the trumpet was sounded liberty was declared to all. On this day all debts were forgotten, all land; or actually any property; was returned to its original owner, all slaves were set free.
This was the Year of Jubilee.

If your great grandfather had sold a piece of land to my great grandfather and in the intervening years my family had done very well on that land, but yours had ended up very poor as a result, all would be put back to square one on the Day of Atonement in the Year of Jubilee. The land returned to you, we went on our way with what we had made and your family could restore their fortunes. No deal, no mistake was held against you forever; at worst it was for 50 years.

My family may have sold a town house and wished they had not as the rents were going up so fast. So although we made money from your land we lost money on our house. All went back to square one.
We may not have wanted to part with that land, but we certainly wanted our house back. So, as we returned, so it was returned to us.
As we forgave, so it was forgiven.

This was not a great emotional event, heart felt and difficult. It was practical.
I owe you, you owe me; we each wipe out the debt and we start all over again. It was simple and practical. Certainly one family may benefit more than another depending on how the past 50 years had gone, but perhaps in the next Year of jubilee it would be the other way around. The main thing was every man and every family and every tribe was cleared of its debts and they could start with a clean slate.

This is what Jesus is talking about.
Forgive means “to send away”. Send away the offences, the debts others have racked up against you, because your debts have already been sent away. God cast them “into the sea of forgetfulness and will remember then no more”.
He forgave you all your debts at the Cross, forgive all those who are indebted to you in the same way.

Will you get more from God if you do?
No. There is no more to be given, but yes, because you will have space to receive it.
When your heart is full of bitterness and resentment there is no space for love, joy and peace.
Jesus instruction was, send it away and start again, clean slate, but this time fill it with the fruit of the Spirit. If you want to be free, you need to set yourself free from the debts to which you are clinging.

Those Jews listening to Jesus knew what he was talking about, but their forgiveness was a 50 year cycle.
Our Day of Atonement was on the Cross 2,000 years ago and our Year of Jubilee was declared then. We are living in a permanent Year of Jubilee, there will never be a 51st year when it all starts again. God has forgiven all, forever, but to receive it we need to make room in our hearts for it. You can start clearing out the old resentments today and begin experiencing the new freedom of God’s love and forgiveness towards you.

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