…forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Ephesians 4.32
The believers in Ephesus are reminded of Christ’s teaching to forgive and recieve forgiveness. In the Gospels it is framed as being conditional. If we don’t forgive we will not receive forgiveness; if we do forgive, we receive forgiveness. The writer frames this another way, the God who forgave us in Christ allows us to forgive each other. The forgiveness of God is complete(d) in Christ. We need to fully enter into it, walk it out, participate in it.
On this side of the cross of Christ, the forgiveness of God is complete and completed. “It is finished!” I can’t earn that forgiveness, I can only receive it. In receiving that forgiveness in Christ, I get to participate in it and extend it to others. For whatever wrongs or perceived wrongs, I can extend grace by forgiving.
Extending that forgiveness is not always an easy task. The memories of our hurts are not easily forgotten. The damage done by others comes to readily to mind. We may never forget, but we can forgive by giving what we have received. That forgiveness will change us and by the grace of God, we can receive healing and restoration of our relationships. Just as Christ stands between us and God, Christ also stands between each of us, reconciling brothers and sisters.