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Thursday of Lent 5

“Therefore the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his servants. When he began to settle, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents. And since he could not pay, his master ordered him to be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and payment to be made. So the servant fell on his knees, imploring him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.’ And out of pity for him, the master of that servant released him and forgave him the debt. — Matthew 18:21–27

This parable is long, so we are going to split it up over two days. Today we are going to focus on the king’s forgiveness of the servant’s debts.

The parable paints a grim picture of our sins. Our sins are more numerous than the sand on the seashore. Our reading today pictures our sins against God as a debt of money so large that we could never hope to repay it – no matter how many lifetimes we had to try and repay it.

And then there is the shocking news: that debt which is far greater than anything we could imagine is paid in full by God so that we are now completely forgiven.

The Small Catechism explains how paying off our debts took place: I believe that Jesus Christ, true God, begotten of the Father from eternity, and also true man, born of the Virgin Mary, is my Lord, who has redeemed me, a lost and condemned person, purchased and won me from all sins and from the power of the devil; not with gold or silver, but with His holy, precious blood, and with His innocent suffering and death …

There is no sin that is not paid for in full, because there was nothing lacking in the perfection of Christ who was crucified. Just as there is no end to His righteousness, so too there can be no end to the forgiveness that was won with the shedding of His blood.

Dear Jesus, thank You for paying all of our debts with Your holy, precious blood, and with Your innocent suffering and death. Amen.

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