“It’s OK.” Or maybe, “It’s fine.” Perhaps you’ve said those words to someone who has hurt you in the past. My personal tendency is to brush off the hurt and make it seem like it’s not a big deal. Sometimes, that’s true. But other times there’s a significant pain that accompanies the hurt.
“It’s OK” and “I forgive you” are completely different statements. “It’s OK” doesn’t even remotely capture the depth of forgiveness. Things aren’t OK, but we forgive anyway. What you did hurt me, but I forgive you anyway.
Jesus showed us the true depth of forgiveness that fateful Friday on the cross:
And Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” Luke 23:34a
Imagine the difference had Jesus chosen a different response:
And Jesus said, “Father, it’s OK, for they know not what they do.” Not Luke 23:34a
Jesus, hanging on the cross between two thieves, chose forgiveness. He had been betrayed by one of His disciples, beaten, whipped, mocked, and made to carry the cross that would kill him—and yet He chose forgiveness.
What the people did to Jesus was not “OK.” The way we continue to choose our own sinful desires and actions over God’s will for our life is not “OK.” Our stubborn refusal to give up the hurts of our past and forgive others because they don’t deserve it is not “OK.”
And yet despite all we do and have done, Jesus brings forgiveness, and the Father grants it—not because we are so great, but because Jesus is so good. He bore the punishment we deserved, allowing us to share in the forgiveness and grace we do not deserve.
So what’s “not OK” in your life today? Give it over to Jesus, and hear again that prayer from the cross: “Father, forgive them.”