Reconciliation with others is only possible because of what Jesus has done in His death, burial, and resurrection. Reconciliation with others is difficult because it requires that one first humble themselves before God who alone can forgive one of their sin and turn them to God. Reconciliation with others is the fruit of being made right with God. Only the one who has been made right with God who has a right understanding of themselves as a sinner in need of a Savior who saves and secures His people will see the need to reconcile with others.
In high school I learned the truth of what it means to be reconciled to others when I was reading Matthew 6:12-14 and Colossians 3:13. As I read those scriptural texts the Lord opened my eyes to my own bitterness, resentment, and unforgiveness. As the Lord exposed my sin, I turned from my sin to the Savior who cleanses us of our sin and was able in turn to forgive my father for hurting me. The very next day my father and I went for a walk where we were reconciled to each other after many years of hurt because of Jesus’ great work for us.
Reconciliation with God is only possible because of Jesus. He is the One who opens up our eyes to our sin and exposes our sin. After He exposes our sin our response to this work of grace determines whether we will be His or whether we will continue to walk in darkness. Jesus transfers sinners from the kingdom of darkness to His Kingdom in order to reconcile them to the Father, who made them, so as to adopt them as sons and daughters of the Most High, who created them in His image and likeness. Through the work of reconciliation Christ redeems us and makes us new creations through the work of redemption, which He accomplished and applies to us through His bloody death, burial and resurrection.
Reconciliation to others is hard work, for five reasons. First, reconciliation is Gospel work because Jesus teaches that if Christians withhold forgiveness from others He will withhold forgiveness from us (Matthew 6:12-14). Second, reconciliation with others teaches Christians humility. Reconciling with others is hard work because it demands that one take ownership of his/her own actions and behavior and grow to be like Jesus. Third, reconciliation gives the world a picture of Jesus as His redeeming bride and demonstrates tangibly the love of God for sinners through being reconciled to each other. Fourth, reconciliation with God is at the heart of Christ’s redeeming us from our sin and making us new creations to testify of His love to the world. Finally, Christians (and the Church corporately) have been charged to be a light in a world full of bitterness, unforgiveness, and resentment. Taking the message of reconciliation to the world is therefore vital in order to bring healing to broken sinners, families, cities, and nations.
The Gospel calls us out of darkness, out of our sin, and into the Kingdom of Light. The Gospel reveals our folly, exposes our guilt and shame, and points us toward the light of Jesus who reconciles sinners. Reconciling with others will cost you something, but consider what it cost Jesus to reconcile you to Himself. The price of our reconciliation was the cost of the Son of God being slain so that we could be adopted by the King of glory. Rather than withholding forgiveness, be awe-struck by the King of Glory, who humbled Himself as the God-Man in His incarnation, who lived a sinless life, died victoriously, rose triumphantly, and who now serves as our exalted Lord, High Priest, Mediator, and Intercessor before the Father.