Jesus taught very plainly that we are to forgive anyone who asks at any time, and we should forgive the way we want God to forgive us. Which means that we should be quick to forgive, easy to appease. If God should mark our iniquities, who could stand? And if God wanted to make a list of all our offenses, even just the ones we’ve forgotten about or failed to ask His forgiveness for, who could stand? No one here. So if God is the kind of God who receives our paltry apologies and often superficial confessions, and washes us completely clean of all our transgressions, how much more must we forgive and overlook and quickly absolve others of anything they have said or done to us? Jesus said that the measure you use to judge others will be measured back to you. How do you want to be measured?
This meal is God’s standing sign to you of the forgiveness of your sins. His forgiveness is declared to you every week at the beginning of the worship service, and the gospel of forgiveness is regularly preached in the sermon. But here, those Words are put into action. God displays His forgiveness by inviting you to dinner. This is what forgiveness means. It means you can eat together. It means you have fellowship. So this meal is God’s pledge and proof of your forgiveness. How do you know you’re forgiven? You’re invited here to eat with God.
But this meal is also God’s insistence that you forgive as you have been forgiven. If God has forgiven all of your sin and invited you here, how can you hold something against someone else, whom God has also invited here to this table? This is what it means to be in fellowship. It means you can eat the Lord’s Supper together. It means you are in fellowship with the Father, because of the blood of Jesus. Are you harboring any grudges? Are you holding anything against anyone? In the name of Jesus, you must let it go now. You must forgive.
So come and welcome to Jesus Christ.