Guest Blog by Pastor Jordan

Ben-Hur, the 1959 American religious epic, depicts a Jewish nobleman being wrongly convicted of attempting to assassinate the Roman Governor. Ben-Hur is placed into the belly of a Roman warship where, in the most deplorable of conditions, he is forced into slave labor.

While enslaved aboard the Roman ship, Ben Hur’s mother and sister are also captured and held in an underground cell where they both eventually contract leprosy. Eventually Ben-Hur becomes controlled by anger and consumed by thoughts of revenge. His desire to avenge the time and family he lost becomes an obsession. His inability to forgive his childhood friend Messala, who betrayed him to the Romans, enslaves his heart to rage and bitterness. In time, Ben Hur is released and later reunited with Esther, the girl he had dreamed of marrying. Esther introduces Ben-Hur to Jesus and begins to explain the various sayings of Jesus. She explains, “Jesus would say things like, ‘Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God'… 'Love your enemies; do good to them that despitefully use you'."”

In rage, Ben-Hur begins to spew venom from his heart, reacting angrily to the words Esther is speaking. Esther then says, "It was Judah Ben Hur I loved. What has become of him? You seem to be now the very thing you set out to destroy, giving evil for evil. Hatred is turning you to stone. It's as though you have become Messala."
Nelson Mandela once said, “Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies.”
We live in a society that is hell bent on getting “what’s ours” while making sure the offender gets “what’s theirs” by avenging all wrongs done against us. As followers of Jesus, God has forgiven us at a great cost to Himself. Therefore, we are called to forgive others with the same love that we have received.

Join us this Sunday as we learn about the Cost and Call of Forgiveness. We will learn what it looks like to receive God’s forgiveness and then relay God’s forgiveness to others.
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