On the evening of the first day of the week, when the disciples whar gathered in John Mark’s mum’s home and the doors whar locked fer fear of the Jewish leaders, the Son came and stood among ’em. The fellers whar startled and frightened, thinking they seen a ghost. This whar the fourth time since the break of dawn that the Son appeared ter folks.
First he showed himself ter Mary Magdalene outside the empty tomb. He looked right at her, locked eyes they did, and called Mary by name.
Second, he met Old Pete, though we know not whar. The Apostle Saul Paul writes, “He appeared to Peter and then to the Twelve.” (1 Corinthians 15:5)
Third, he met Cleopas and his mate on the road ter Emmaus. (Luke 24:33)
Then, in the evening of that first day, he mysteriously appeared in thar midst even with the doors locked, saying ter ’em, “Why are you troubled? Why do doubts rise in your minds? Peace be with you! Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have.”
Still, because of thar joy and amazement, they would not believe, so he asked them, “Do you have anything here to eat?” They gave him a piece of broiled fish, and he took it and ate it in thar presence.
Again he said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” With that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”
Now some time earlier the Son told Old Pete:
“I tell you, Peter, on this rock I will build my church, and the Gates of Hades will not overcome it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” (Matthew 16:18-20)
What a responsibility. When the Son gives us his Holy Spirit of Truth, we kin forgive folks thar sin. And if we refuse ter forgive ’em, they be bound as if in chains. (John 20:23, Matthew 18:17, 1 Corinthians 5) Such power hain’t even been given ter angels.
But what do it mean ter forgive the sins of others? Kin we forgive and still keep a ledger of thar grievances?
Think on this a wee little bit: if we ‘ave Skipper’s Holy Spirit of Truth in us then we ave his character, his inclination ter forgive in the same way he forgives, and this be how Skip forgives.
I am he who blots out your transgressions for my own sake, and I will not remember your sins. – Isaiah 43:25
I will be merciful toward their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more. – Hebrews 8:12
I will remember their sins and lawless deeds no more. – Hebrews 10:17
I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more. – Jeremiah 31:34
Repent therefore, and turn again, that your sins may be blotted out. – Acts 3:19
You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea. – Mica 7:19
You have cast all my sins behind your back. – Isaiah 38:17
As far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us. – Psalm 103:11-12
Skip forgives our sins. Skip forgets our sins.
On our own we might not be able ter ferget, but with Skip’s Holy Spirit of Truth and its power ter change our hearts, we kin both forgive and ferget grievances.
Four times on that first day the Son appeared ter folks. And still he needed ter ask:
“Why are you troubled?”
“Why do doubts rise in your minds?”
Might this also be the question the Son asks us most ever’ day: “What be bothering ya? How come you be doubting my love fer ya?”
Be odd fer us ter ‘ave the power ter bind and loosen chains of guilt fer folks and yet we cannot take captive our thoughts of fears and disbelief.
Today make it yer task ter bind yer worries and doubts in the powerful name of the Sun. Make such ideas and fears obey his voice. Use this gift and never abuse it.