In Romans 13, Paul writes, “But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.”
One of the lusts of the flesh is pride: self-lust. And one of the heinous ways that pride rears its ugly head is in refusing to receive the forgiveness offered in Christ. Forgiveness is not like a request that takes time for God to process. There is no paperwork, there is no waiting period. There is no background check. No references are necessary. God knows us; He knows our sin. But forgiveness isn’t a decision on the part of God. Forgiveness is an act. It is an act that has already occurred. That act is the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. When Jesus was nailed to the tree on Calvary, the sins of the world were loaded onto Him. Your bitterness, your lusts, your anger, your selfishness, your pride, your lies, your treachery was all laid on Him. And then He died, and the silence that followed the death of Christ was the only waiting period there was. That silence, that waiting was the only time we waited to hear what God would say. But early in the morning on the first day of the week, God spoke a new creation into being. God shouted a new light out of the darkness, and the word that He spoke was the word “live.”
And when Jesus burst out of the tomb, that was for the forgiveness of the world. Jesus was handed over for our offenses and He was raised for our justification. And now the message of the gospel, the good news that Christians have proclaimed for centuries are the three words we began this service with: Christ is risen. That is the new light that has burst into the world. Jesus is the light that shines in the darkness. He is the light that lightens every man. When we come before God, and we know our sins, we know our failures, we know our weakness, and our regrets and guilt is piled high, but God does not wait. God does not think about it. The answer is simple. The answer is the empty tomb. God says, “live.” So confess your doubt as sin and put it away. Confess your prideful unbelief and put it away. Put on the Lord Jesus Christ. Put on the resurrected one. Put on the justified one. Put on your forgiveness.