And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses (Mark 11:25).
In Matthew 18:21 Peter asks the Lord, How oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus answers (v.22): I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.
Jesus then goes on to tell the story of the king who forgave the large debt of one of his servants, only to later find that the same servant refused to forgive a much smaller debt owed him by another. As a result, the unforgiving servant was cast into prison and held accountable for the debt. Jesus, turning to Peter, then says: So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses (v.35).
The first mention of the word forgive in Scripture is found in the story of godly Joseph, whose life foreshadowed Christs in many ways. After their father Jacobs burial, Josephs brothers sent a messenger to him saying that Jacob had made the following request of him: Forgive, I pray thee now, the trespass of thy brethren, and their sin; for they did unto thee evil (Genesis 50:17). Josephs reply (after he had wept) is the key to being able to forgive others: Fear not: for am I in the place of God? . . . Now therefore fear ye not: I will nourish you, and your little ones. And he comforted them, and spake kindly unto them (Genesis 50:19,21).
Of Jesus Christ, it is said, when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to Him that judgeth righteously (I Peter 2:23). The same just but forgiving Lord who commands us to do likewise unto others will enable us to do so to the extent to which we are willing to commit our lives to Him that judgeth righteously. CJH