Forgive us our sins (Luke 11:4).
(We are continuing in our brief series of meditations on the Lord’s Prayer.)
Jesus teaches us to pray daily (see previous post) for the forgiveness of our sins, assuming (as we ought to) that we have strayed from the mark each day. Sins are sins — they are not merely mistakes, flaws, personality, or “my truth versus your truth.” And every sin is against God ultimately, and so must be dealt with before God (Psalm 51:4)
Our great need is to be right with God.
There is no greater need, then, than our need for forgiveness — including our need for daily bread! Drill this into your on mind, and then teach this to your family and friends (and strangers) so they realize what their greatest need is. It is not career, or personal fulfillment, or fame, or health. Our great need is to be right with God.
Nothing drives this home more than Jesus’ healing of the lame man who was let down through the roof in Luke 5:17-20. While the faithful friends who brought him to the house no doubt hoped for him to be healed of his paralysis, Jesus clearly saw his greatest need was for forgiveness: “Your sins are forgiven you.” The same is still true today, for each of us. You need forgiveness more than you need a wife or husband, more than you need children, more than you need healing from cancer. One day this man’s body would die, and so any healing of his body on this cursed earth was only temporary. The greatest need, for him and for us, is our soul’s need.
Jesus Christ is able to forgive even our greatest sins and therefore fulfill our greatest need.
Yet, it is also true, as the Pharisees observed on that occasion, that no one can forgives sins, but God alone (Luke 5:21). What they failed to see, however, was that the man Jesus standing before them, healing bodies and souls, was God himself! That is why the gospel’s message is not that Jesus will make you happier (although he does), but that Jesus Christ — because of his debt-paying work on the cross — is able to forgive even our greatest sins and therefore fulfill our greatest need.
“Father, forgive us our sins, for Jesus’ sake alone. Amen.”