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The Fifth Petition
And forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.
What does this mean?
We pray in this petition that our Father in heaven would not look at our sins or deny our prayer because of them. We are neither worthy of the things for which we pray, nor have we deserved them, but we ask that He would give them all to us by grace, for we daily sin much and surely deserve nothing but punishment. So, we too will sincerely forgive and gladly do good to those who sin against us
Lent 5 Midweek April 1st, 2020
In the Name of +Jesus+ Amen.
You are forgiven. There is not a question about that at all. St. Paul reminds us of that in Romans 5. 8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. 10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.
Jesus has forgiven all your sins. That was the purpose of the Cross. The perfect sacrifice for the imperfect. The saint sacrificed for the sinner. Your forgiveness is never in question. You are forgiven because of Jesus’ death on the cross for you.
I know that sounds redundant. But we need to hear the Gospel, Jesus for you, all the time. Our sin always wants to pull our eyes off of the Gospel, off of Jesus and leave us sulking in our brokenness.
Our sins blind us. They cover up the love and Grace of God so we see only shame, disgrace.
When our sins stare us down we become like the woman at the well coming out in the middle of the day because she does not want to be talked about or is too ashamed to show her face.
To quote a good pastor friend of mine, “sin breaks stuff”. It breaks us. Just ask King David. The Psalm for tonight is written by a broken King. His sin was so public we are still reading about it 3000 years later.
King David, the King of God’s chosen people Israel, had an affair with Bathsheba, and now she is going to have the King’s baby. You can cover sin up for a while, but it always,….. always finds its way out of the web we weave it into.
Soon she will start to show. King David devises a plan to bring her husband home from the front lines under false pretenses. When Uriah, Bathsheba’s husband is home he will go sleep with his wife, all will assume the baby is theirs. Problem solved.
Uriah did not go home. After a couple of tries, King David devises another plan to cover up his sin. He has Uriah killed. Oh, he makes it look like a war casualty, but God still knows. And God sends the Prophet Nathan to expose King David adultery, deception, and murder.
David was caught. His sin was totally exposed. “Sin breaks stuff”. David was broken. And He wrote Psalm 51.
3 For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. 4 Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you may be justified in your words and blameless in your judgment.
Have you ever been caught red-handed? Have you ever been broken by your sin, by the sin of someone else? That is why we pray the 5th petition of the Lord’s Prayer. Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. We need forgiveness because sin breaks stuff. Praying this petition is not begging God to overlook our sin and forgive us anyway. Praying, forgive us our trespasses, is holding God to His Gospel promise, Jesus.
Praying this petition is a confession. Forgive us, Lord, because we have been broken by our sin.
Praying this petition in faith is an absolution. By faith, we hold to the Gospel. We hold to Jesus alone. Jesus’ blood, Jesus’ death, has done what it came to do. Forgive us.
The 5th petition is not prayed in question
“Lord if I forgive others you will keep forgiving me,…..right?”
The 5th petition is not prayed to remind God how good we are doing and convince Him to keep forgiving us.
“Lord today someone grabbed the last 2 loaves of bread right in front of me. I did not get any. And I forgave them. I’m doing what you said, so forgive me.
The 5th petition of the Lord’s Prayer is prayed as a result.
When we pray forgive us our trespasses as we forgive, we are seeing the result of God’s Grace. God wants to restore His broken world, God so loves His broken people that He promised the blood sacrifice of His own Son. Jesus is God’s grace in flesh and blood.
This petition is prayed as a result of faith. Faith trusts in the promises God made. Faith that forgives others does not depend on me, or my emotions, or my desire to forgive or not to forgive. Faith that clings to the promise of forgiveness depends on Jesus. When Jesus said “It is finished all sins were forgiven.
When we pray “forgive us our trespasses as we forgive” the “as we forgive” is a result of what Jesus has done for us. Because we are forgiven. Because Jesus shed His blood for all we are changed. We forgive because, as a result of being forgiven by Jesus.
Forgiving sins is a bloody business.
In the days before Jesus, if you wanted to be forgiven for your sin or your guilt you would bring a perfect ram to the temple. The priest would cut the throat and shed the blood of your sacrifice. He would then take the blood and sprinkle it, dab it, or pour it out on the altar for your forgiveness.
For us, the blood has already been shed on a cross outside of Jerusalem between two thieves. Jesus’ blood shed for you and our Gracious Father in Heaven is still giving us Jesus. In Confession Absolution, you receive Jesus and are forgiven. In the Gospel, we hear about Jesus and His life for you. In the Baptism, we are connected to Jesus. In the Lord’s Supper, we are given Jesus’ body and bloodshed for you for your forgiveness.
Praying the 5th petition of the Lord’s Prayer is Jesus for you. His blood His death His resurrection for you for your forgiveness.
In the Name of +Jesus+ Amen