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The Power of Forgiveness

by Stephanie, Mobilizing Trainer
in Church Planting, Middle East, Ministry
"But how can this be? How could God require blood for my sin? How could he ask for my life?"

"Of course I'm scared. I just tell myself that God is merciful. But I don't know what he will say about my sin. If he decides we are not pure then we have to go to the hell to be punished until we pay for our sin and can go to the heaven."   

"The Holy Scriptures say that without the shedding of blood there can be no forgiveness for sin."

"What? The shedding of blood?"

I couldn't tell if it was my fumbling words or the shock of this concept which produced the confusion. The horror on Miriam's face was enough to reveal it was the latter. I met Miriam in Cincinnati. She is a young Muslim woman originally from Palestine. Friendship had come easily for us as we shared a common love for the dates of Jordan and a quality cup of chai. I recently returned to Cincinnati and we spent the evening together. We talked about our families, backgrounds, and what we thought about God. The concept of sin and righteousness had quickly entered our conversation.
"In the Torah there are many examples of God requiring a blood sacrifice when his people sinned."
"But how can this be? How could God require blood for my sin? How could he ask for my life?"
"Because death is the punishment for sin. But there is hope for us because there was a final sacrifice for us that came from God."
Miriam and I talked through all the major sacrifices in the Old Testament, many of them being a sign of the final sacrifice that was to come.

 "Do you remember the prophet John? Do you remember what he said when he saw Jesus? "Behold the Lamb of God!" Why would he call Jesus a lamb?"

 "...because he could be a sacrifice for us?"

 "Yes! Jesus' blood was poured out that you could receive forgiveness from God once and for all."

 "Are you telling me we can have forgiveness for our sin? Right now?"

 Yes! With faith like a child you can have forgiveness and be restored to God."

Miriam heard for the first time that she could have forgiveness before God. I've pointed her towards the Scriptures to read for herself and ask God to show her what is true. Pray for the Holy Spirit to lead her in her thinking and free her from the deceit of Islam. 

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