Cleaning romaine lettuce at my kitchen sink, the Lord brought to mind the parable of the Prodigal Son. I thought about the return home for the sinful young son, and the father running to meet him, and the lamb that was killed. Suddenly, the emphasis of the story for me turned to the lamb that lost its life. And it occurred to me that where there is forgiveness, a sacrifice is always involved.
We sacrifice our pride and brokenness to God and forgive those who have sinned against us because Jesus paid the ultimate sacrifice, Himself, for the forgiveness of our sins. And we also forgive because Jesus said if we do not forgive, we will not be forgiven. Sometimes forgiveness does not come easy; in those situations we can pray for God's help to choose to forgive. Keeping the focus on the love Christ has for us and praying for the one who needs our forgiveness helps. Also, remembering that whatever we have to sacrifice to forgive someone is not worth comparing to the joy and blessings we receive in return when we obey our heavenly Father out of love for Him and for our Savior, Jesus Christ.