Forgiveness

Repent and turn from all your transgressions.  Ezekiel 18:30

Hallmark has a movie produced in 2007: “Crossroads ~ A Story of Forgiveness” starring Dean Cain and Peri Gilpin. If you have not seen it, perhaps you will be inspired to search for it after reading this blog. I first saw it some years ago and it made an impression on me. Here’s the story in a nutshell. Watching may provide a greater blessing, but I shall try to hit the high points in the story ~ hopefully drawing you in, not spoiling it for you.

The movie is based on a true story. A father witnesses the death of his wife and daughter killed before his eyes in a horrible auto accident.  Shock and suffering led to rage, vented by the younger son on his father.  Grief does that.  The young teen had nowhere to turn after losing his mom; the only person he felt had really understood him.

The father was determined that every piece of evidence be thoroughly examined and all witnesses questioned, for he was certain that he had seen another car plow into the one that held his precious wife and daughter. Eventually it came to light that two teenage boys had been racing and one of them had crashed into the victim’s car which rolled and burst into flames.

Finding out that it was just a kid of eighteen, like his older son, he asked if he might be allowed to speak with the young teen alone.  With tears of remorse, the young lad sobbed out his story.  He knew he was guilty and deserved to spend much of his life behind bars, but no matter how many years he lived in prison, none of it could repair the family he had crushed by his own thoughtless actions.

Unbelievably, this father asked for and received special permission to take the young man to the high school the kid attended so he could tell his story in front of students and faculty during their assembly.  The results were astounding and the two were invited to visit other schools and do the same; hoping to impress upon young minds that this can happen to anyone. They are not invincible. Carelessness causes accidents which create serious injury or death.

Opening day of the trial, the father asked if he and the young man could approach the benchThe Judge gave his consent.  The father spoke quietly to the Judge saying that he knew the young man was probably going to jail for many years. “But Sir, what would that accomplish?” he asked the Judge.  “We have already shared our story in several schools which has done much to bring awareness to the teenagers. Wouldn’t it serve the community better if we could continue to do this, Your Honor?”

The Judge responded, “You realize that you are asking me to drop the charges?”

Yes sir, I realize that,” replied the father. “I have forgiven him,” he said, placing a strong arm around the teen’s shoulders. The young man’s face first showed surprise, then disbelief, contrition and then sudden deep love for his benefactor.

At that moment I heard the soft voice of Jesus speak to my heart. “I did that,” He said. “That father represents Me.”

Suddenly this TV portrayal of a father and his family and their grief took on a whole new meaning.  Pictured in him was Jesus Christ, the one who stepped in and paid the price for the young man’s crime setting him free! This story was timely in my own life. Forgiveness is not easy, but . . .

This Jesus, who is our Creator, Friend, Forgiver, Redeemer, Judge and King, can forgive all sins including murder.  Sin is sin in the eyes of God.  He alone knows the hearts of those He created.  He is the only one who can help us with the issue of forgiveness. He, alone, is the only One I trust to judge me and my family.

Change the way you think and act, and turn to God to have your sins removed.  Acts 3:19

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