The ability to truly forgive those who commit wrongdoing against us certainly doesn’t come naturally. However, a really amazing story popped up just a few days ago in a number of mainstream media outlets which really illustrated the power of genuine Christian forgiveness in a poignant way. This is the perfect example of what it means to ‘walk the talk’ through real life action.
Here’s the report in the Daily Mail:
The father of a nine-year-old boy has had an extraordinary meeting with the driver accused of killing him, with the pair embracing at a church service.
Josiah Sisson was run over and killed as he admired the Christmas lights near his home in Springwood, south of Brisbane, on Christmas Day.
Adrian Murray, 24, is accused of killing Josiah and was allegedly drunk at the wheel that night.
Murray attended the church service the next day, where he and Josiah’s father, Karl Sissons, shared an emotional hug.
Mr Sisson was seen embracing Murray at the end of the service, with tears seen in Murray’s eyes.
Peter Field, pastor of Potter’s House Christian Church, told the Courier Mail, that Murray was at the church service with his friends and family when he spotted Mr Sisson.
‘He collapsed into Karl’s arms and [Mr Sissons] was brave enough and manly enough to catch him and treat him courteously,’ Mr Field said.
‘As you could imagine, it was a very emotional time for everyone there,’ he added.
Murray has since been charged with dangerous driving causing death while affected by an intoxicating substance, and drink-driving. He is set to appear in court next year.
Josiah’s parents, who have another young son, say they have forgiven Murray and want to ‘move forward’ with their lives.
Earlier this week, Mr Field said: ‘[Josiah’s family] want to say they believe in the power of forgiveness, as Christmas is about Jesus Christ being born and coming into the world to bring forgiveness.
‘They are now processing this and they’re moving forward. On behalf of the family they want to say thank you, in particular to the Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital who have done an absolutely outstanding job since Christmas night when the boy was brought to the hospital.
‘The service and the care they have given has been nothing short of sublime. The family now ask that their privacy be respected as they have to process the grief.
‘They have another young son and they are all trying to come to terms with the loss of this young boy, as nobody would anticipate something like this could happen to you on Christmas.’
As Pastor Field mentioned, Josiah’s parents said they believed in the power of forgiveness because of what Jesus Christ did by coming into this world to pay the price for our sins. What a rare and extraordinary story of forgiveness!
Josiah’s parents were able to forgive their son’s killer only through the grace of God. They recognised that God had forgiven the unforgivable in their lives and thus they should forgive this man. All of us are sinners and in our unsaved state and if given the right opportunity we would commit terrible acts such as this.
I know this is not a perfect example and comes nowhere near close to what Christ did for us but it’s a powerful example of forgiveness that comes through the grace and power of Christ.
Jesus Christ, the holy and spotless lamb of God hanging on that cross during those three hours of utter blackness cried out “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34).
This was the son of God! He did not deserve one bit of the punishment that was poured out on Him. But He did it for us because He loved us so much!
If Christ can forgive us, those Roman soldiers and the Jews who rejected, mocked, spat, ridiculed, humiliated and crucified Him, how much more should we as children of God forgive those who trespass against us! Yes it may be difficult and it may even be very painful as it was in this case, but forgiving those who trespass against us is something that God wants us to do.
Matthew 6:14-34:“For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.