I find that when I think I am asking God to forgive me I am often in reality (unless I watch myself very carefully) asking Him to do something quite different. I am asking Him not to forgive me but to excuse me. But there is all the difference in the world between forgiving and excusing. Forgiveness says “Yes, you have done this thing, but I accept your apology, I will never hold it against you and everything between us two will be exactly as it was before.” But excusing says “I see that you couldn’t help it or didn’t mean it, you weren’t really to blame.”. . .
Real forgiveness means looking steadily at the sin, the sin that is left over without any excuse, after all allowances have been made, and seeing it in all its horror, dirt, meanness and malice, and nevertheless being wholly reconciled to the man who has done it.
From The Weight of Glory
Compiled in Words to Live By
The Weight of Glory: And Other Addresses. Copyright © 1949, C. S. Lewis Pte. Ltd. Copyright renewed © 1976, revised 1980 C. S. Lewis Pte. Ltd. All rights reserved. Used with permission of HarperCollins Publishers. Words to Live By: A Guide for the Merely Christian. Copyright © 2007 by C. S. Lewis Pte. Ltd. All rights reserved. Used with permission of HarperCollins Publishers.
Jesus was not only the glory of Yahweh returning to his Temple; he was also the new David, indeed Yahweh himself, reclaiming his city and preparing to deal with the enemies of Israel. He fought, of course, not in the conventional manner. Instead, he took all of the dysfunction of the world upon himself and swallowed it up in the ocean of divine mercy and forgiveness. He thereby dealt with the enemies of the nation and emerged as the properly constituted king of the world.
Did the Gospel Writers Fabricate Details to Make It Appear that Jesus Fulfilled Prophecies of the Messiah? Investigating the Faith with Lee Strobel @ biblegateway
Isn’t it possible that the gospel writers fabricated details to make it appear that Jesus fulfilled the prophecies? “For example,” I said, “the prophecies say the Messiah’s bones would remain unbroken, so maybe John invented the story about the Romans breaking the legs of the two thieves being crucified with Jesus, and not breaking his legs. And the prophecies talk about betrayal for thirty pieces of silver, so maybe Matthew played fast and loose with the facts and said, yeah, Judas sold out Jesus for that same amount.”
But that objection didn’t fly. “In God’s wisdom, he created checks and balances both inside and outside the Christian community,” Lapides explained. “When the Gospels were being circulated, there were people living who had been around when all these things happened. Someone would have said to Matthew, ‘You know it didn’t happen that way. We’re trying to communicate a life of righteousness and truth, so don’t taint it with a lie.’
“Besides,” he added, “why would Matthew have fabricated fulfilled prophecies and then be willing to be put to death for following someone who he secretly knew was really not the Messiah? That wouldn’t make any sense.
“What’s more, the Jewish community would have jumped on any opportunity to discredit the Gospels by pointing out falsehoods. They would have said, ‘I was there, and Jesus’ bones were broken by the Romans during the crucifixion,’” Lapides said. “But even though the Jewish Talmud refers to Jesus in derogatory ways, it never once makes the claim that the fulfillment of prophecies was falsified. Not one time.”
Today's reading is drawn from "The Case for Christmas" and is based on an interview with Louis S. Lapides, MDiv, ThM.