Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. —Ephesians 4:32
There are a lot of things God knows about me that I wouldn’t want anyone else to know. God has enough on me to bury me! But you will never know any of it because God won’t tell.
This is precisely how you and I are forgiven: “As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us” (Ps. 103:12). Our sins are “wiped out” (Acts 3:19). It is as though our sins don’t exist anymore—they are gone, gone, gone, gone! Insofar as our standing and security with God are concerned, they will never be held against us.
Joseph is sometimes referred to as a type of Christ—a person in the Old Testament who, long before Jesus came along, displayed characteristics of Jesus Himself. Despite his imperfections, Joseph was indeed a type of Christ in many ways. His ability to forgive his brothers as he did foreshadows Jesus’ actions toward His disciples. Scared to death and ashamed over the way they had deserted Jesus when He was arrested, they were huddled behind closed doors when the resurrected Jesus turned up unexpectedly and declared, “Peace be with you!” (John 20:21). The disciples were totally forgiven—and they knew it.
We all have skeletons in our closets; some are known to others, many are unknown. It is comforting to know that God freely and totally forgives all of our sins and will never tell what He knows. That is the way Joseph forgave. And that is the why we are urged, “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you” (Eph. 4:32).
Excerpted from Total Forgiveness (Charisma House, 2002).