The Oscar for Best Film of 1992 was awarded to a film that was both directed, and starred in, by Clint Eastwood. It was called a ‘revisionist’ western, one that strips away the glamour from all the years of Hollywood films to reveal exactly how it was in the West.

Being unforgiven is something that some men and women have to live with. They’ve done something so bad that they are vilified, even though they may once have been admired. It’s happened to Jimmy Saville, once Sir Jimmy, a respected and much loved TV personality and charity fundraiser. It’s happened to Rolf Harris, a great entertainer who was privileged to paint a portrait of the queen. Once they are accused and found guilty we strip away the veneer from them, the years of gloss that we’ve added to enhance their reputations, and we reveal the real men underneath. Men who have done something so bad they seem to be beyond forgiveness, and they remain unforgiven.

It happened to Jesus. The religious authorities considered him to be a blasphemer and a charlatan, and the more they saw of him the more they hated him. Other people loved him and feted him, but not the Pharisees and Sadducees. As far as they were concerned, what he had done was beyond forgiveness. Nothing he could do or say would change their minds, so they arrested him and had him crucified. When he died they mocked him. He was unforgiven. It says in the Bible,

“He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.” (1)

Serves him right when you consider his crimes. Although, what crimes are we talking about? Claiming to be the Son of God? That’s only a crime if it’s not true, and all the evidence points to the fact that he was the Son of God. Who else could restore sight and sound to the blind and mute, cure leprosy, bring about an immediate bodily transformation in the paralysed, and bring back the dead to life? Who could give dignity to the poor and downcast, and forgive sins? No one but the Son of God.

The religious leaders knew he had done such things but still they hated him and disposed of him, or so they thought. They had no idea that after death he would come back to life. His death was predetermined before this world was ever created as God’s salvation of men from their sins. The religious leaders didn’t realise that when Jesus was dying before them, as they mocked him, he was dying for them, and he was dying for you and me. There was a reason Jesus was despised and rejected.

“Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.” (2)

Jesus remained unforgiven by the authorities so that we can be forgiven by God. He died for us to set us free from sin and it enables God to forgive us as we come to faith in Jesus. If you have yet to do so, put your trust in Jesus now, or else remain unforgiven.


Bible References:

  • Isaiah 53:3
  • Isaiah 53:4-6