When God came to Moses on Mt. Sinai, He introduced Himself as the Lord God who abounds in lovingkindness and forgives the sin of thousands. From there, through the rest of the Bible, God’s demonstration of forgiveness only gets more dramatic.
Israel mad many foolish blunders throughout the Old Testament as well as the New, but God keeps forgiving.
In the desert, they would sin, then repent, and God would forgive. Through the period of judges, Israel would cycle through sin and repentance again and again, but God just kept forgiving. David sinned greatly, yet God forgave him. When Israel’s sin got so out of hand that God sent Babylon, Israel later repented and God forgave them again. Even the foolish prophet Jonah repented for running from God and God saved him and continued to teach Jonah even in his impatience. When Nineveh repented at Jonah’s prophecy, God forgave Nineveh.
Ultimately, God sent Jesus to offer himself for our sin so that all people who repent and turn to God can be forgiven—those who believe in Jesus after hearing about him as well as salvation for those who repented to God inasmuch as they knew before Jesus came to Earth.
God allowed His only son to sacrifice himself for us just so He could forgive us. God is the God Who forgives.
Forgiveness is often mistaken in Western culture for a “release of anger and bitter resentment”. Actually, forgiveness is nothing of the sort. Forgiveness is a financial term meaning to relinquish any collection of a debt owed. When Jesus taught his disciples how to pray, he said, “Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors.” A sin is a debt and when God forgives sin, it means that He will not expect money, sweat, blood, or our souls as repayment for what we owe Him.
God forgave our debt—our sin—because Jesus paid it all at the Cross.
When anyone comes humbly and asks God’s forgiveness, He never turns them away. Just as God forgives all who ask, you too can forgive others, not only because your debt does not need to be repaid, but also from God’s own infinite forgiveness.
Exodus 34:6, Psalm 86:14-17; 103:8-14, Isaiah 57:16-21, Matthew 6:14-15, Luke 6:37; 17:3-4