Recently, I had trouble going to sleep. I finally feel asleep only to wake up early. Why? I was replaying a scene in my head where someone had been offended and I was the offender. Maybe you can relate. You replay the scene like a choose your own adventure book. You relive the moment but this time, in your thoughts you say the right thing and do the right thing. If only we could change the past, right? Better yet, if only we could forgive ourselves. What if I told you that forgiveness is giving up the fantasy that the past could be any different.
You can’t change the past or erase what you have done in the past but you can be forgiven.
Blessed is the one whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the one whose sin the LORD does not count against them and in whose spirit is no deceit. – Psalm 32:2 (NIV)
You can’t change your past but God has got you covered. Jesus’ perfect life and his sacrifice covers a multitude of sins. The blessing of trusting Christ is that his blood that was shed washes away your bad choices, your rebellion, your hurtful actions toward others, and your shame.
This is why forgiveness is better than a time machine. Even if I go back in time, I am still me and I still have faults. I’m not being hard on myself. I just know me and I could probably imagine how many times I would need to go back in time to correct the wrongs I’ve committed. And according to science fiction that could be disastrous to the space time continuum.
In the movie About Time, the main character, Tim, learns from his father that they both have the supernatural ability to go back in time. But they can only go back to places they have been before. Tim chooses to use this ability to enhance his dating life and eventually marries. Later, he learns that his father has cancer and despite their ability to time travel, they cannot prevent this diagnosis. His father dies but Tim continues to go back in time to visit him.
Tim’s father teaches him to live everyday twice. Once without doing anything to alter the events and then the second time through in appreciation of the day, noticing things that he may have missed.
Tim’s wife wants to start a family and Tim realizes that once the baby is born (due to complications with time travel) he will not be able to go back in time to see his father. For nine more months, he visits him in the past but stops with the birth of his child.
He takes his father’s advice and relives each day twice but later learns that it is best to live each day once and appreciate it as though he were living it again.
I think Jesus would want you to live each day once, choosing to accept his forgiveness, learning to forgive others, and yourself.
Jesus didn’t give his life inventing a time machine. He gave his life to the cross for us. He shed his blood for us. He doesn’t change the past, he changes hearts. That’s real freedom. That’s better than a time machine.
He forgives us and now he wants us to live forgiven.
Live each day once, appreciate it and let it go.
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