As Stephen Mansfield concludes Chapter 5 of Healing Your Church Hurt, he states that as he paid attention to three words God uses for forgiveness in Scripture, he found the actual steps we need to take in order to forgive and ultimately leave us changed. The author notes: “Each presents a distinct facet of what forgiveness is and each of these facets is essential to being set free.” The first word for forgiveness is discussed today.
1. Aphiemi means “to send away or to set free” and invokes a very powerful Old Testament image, that of a scapegoat. Stephen adds that in the New Testament Jesus became that scapegoat. Jesus has taken upon Himself the sins of those who have wounded us. In order for us to “send away” those sins, we need to place them on Jesus just as Aaron did on the scapegoat (Leviticus 16).
Doing this makes a difference in two ways: (1) when the Holy Spirit lifts the imprint of those sins from our hearts, they have some place to go; (2) if forgiveness is a formal process of sending sins and wrongs away and placing them upon Jesus on the cross, we have a sure defense when that darkness tries to creep back in.
Today’s question: How does aphiemi impact your understanding of the process of forgiveness? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “Our trophy room”