The Power of Forgiveness by Daniel Rodgers

The Power of Forgiveness
Dan Rodgers
Matthew 18:21-35
Sunday, June 6, 2004

ILLUSTRATION: The other night I listened to the tragic story of a man who had lost his wife and 12 year old daughter in a car accident. The man's wife had been in their van; she was making a legal turn into an intersection when all of a sudden she was broadsided by a car, driven by a teenager. The teen had been drag racing with another car.

The impact of the first collision pushed her van into the path of another oncoming car, causing her van to explode into flames. The husband was leaving their house at the time and happened to notice the smoke...the accident was not far from their home. As he began to look at the burning wreckage, he realized it was his wife's van. He tried desperately to get to them, but was pulled away from the inferno by the police. There was nothing anyone could do.

The accident changed that man's life. He became bitter. He was filled with anger and rage. All he wanted was revenge. And to make matters worse, the teenager was let off due to a lack of witnesses.

The husband would not let it go. He set out to find witnesses--and he did. He also found an attorney who was willing to see if he could get the case retried. He succeeded!

The young teenager was again brought to court. It looked like the boy might go to jail for a long, long, time. However, something happened. Something happened that changed this angry husband and father. For the first time, he saw this teenager as a young boy, broken and in tears and remorse over what he had done. Something came over him. He told his attorney he wanted to meet the boy...and he did.

Without drawing the story out, this man forgave the young teenager--they embraced one another and wept together. The man went to court and interceded for the teenager. He told the judge he forgave the boy. Because of his change of heart, the judge gave the boy a light sentence of probation and community ser ...


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