TWax posted this very powerful clip from the TV show “ER” that I wanted you to see:
“Just get over it.” That’s what the chaplain appears to be saying to this guy. And in her words, we see a popular sentiment about forgiveness. We think it’s just one person getting over how they have been wronged by another person, entity, or institution.
When we try to or advise others to “get over it,” that might work fine for a small verbal insult or a little ding in the side of your car door. But when we start looking around at the atrocities committed against people each day, and for that matter, really come to grips with the seriousness of sin, then those words become meaningless.
Get over it? Really? Just get over abandonment as a child? Just get over having your life savings depleted because of corporate selfishness? Just get over being taken advantage of becaue of your inexperience?
Or how about this: Just get over the evil inclinations of the heart? Just get over human lust for power? Just get over the abuse of gifts like sex? Who do we think we are to assume that God will “just get over it?”
Forgiveness isn’t that easy. It’s not that simple. The truth is that forgiveness is costly. It always costs someone something. When you choose to forgive someone of an injustice, the cost comes to you. You are taking in that pain and bitterness into yourself, and it hurts. It tastes like bile from the back of your throat that you have to choke down and down and then down again.
The guy in the video has a sense of that. Forgiveness isn’t free. God’s not going to “just get over it.” Not the God of justice. The price of forgiveness is high. So, so high.
At the cross we see God paying the cost Himself. Taking the price on Himself. Choosing that bile for Himself.
The gospel isn’t the good news of God “getting over it.” The gospel is the good news that sin of all kinds has an awful, terrible price. That God paid.