By Eddie Capparucci, LPC, CSAS
“Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a burning coal that he had taken with tongs from the altar. And he touched my mouth and said: “Behold, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away, and your sin atoned for.” Isaiah 6:6-7
That’s all it took for God to forgive Isaiah’s sins. A lump of hot coal to his lips. It was so simple.
Actually, it was Outrageous! Why? Because we can’t understand it. It goes against our logic of how we should forgive others. How is it possible to forgive someone so easily and quickly?
It’s not possible. And I know. There are many people I have had a great deal of difficulty forgiving in my life. No, this is outrageous!
In fact, many Christians believe it’s impossible for God to forgive the sins they have committed. I have worked with numerous believers who struggle to feel God’s love and embrace. And while there certainly is every reason for us to feel unworthy of His love, He takes an entirely different approach to us.
“Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are continually before me.” Isaiah 49:16
Again, it’s Outrageous! We are rebellious creatures. We don’t pursue Him. We focus more on our selfish desires and worldly values than we do on Spiritual values. Yet, He loved us first. I can’t comprehend His ability to love us unconditionally.
Brennan Manning in his classic bestseller The Ragamuffin Gospel compared our love and God’s love like this. “Human love will always be a faint shadow to God’s love. Not because it is too sugary or sentimental, but simply because it can never compare from whence it comes. Human love, with all its passion and emotion, is a thin echo of the passion/emotion love of Yahweh.”
Which leads us to these questions. Why does the creator of the universe humble Himself to forgive us? Why does He demonstrate His love by carving our names on His palms? Why does He take time to deal with those of us who believe, yet don’t pay attention to Him or His commands? I can’t fully understand; therefore, I find it Outrageous!
We can’t comprehend His love and forgiveness because it’s not natural for us, but it is natural for our God. Yes, it’s even Outrageous! And we should be thankful and grateful we have an Outrageous God who loves, accepts and forgives us unconditionally.