Christ gave His life so that our sins might be forgiven. But forgiveness was an important part of a godly life even in the Old Testament. It was important for the prophets to teach forgiveness from God as an example of how we were to have lived. (Dan 9:9) (Eph 5:1) The Pharisees were against Jesus because they were stiff-necked and wouldn’t believe He was the Messiah. (John 10:31-33) But Christ knew what had to be done to fulfill the prophesy, and even while hanging on the cross asked the Father forgiveness for them. (Luke 23:34)
God wants us to be righteous, and to be righteous we must be willing to forgive, unconditionally so that we might be sanctified to Him. There is no “but” involved in this. We mustn’t judge others in our course until we, ourselves, can be called righteous. (John 7:24) (Matt 7:3-5) An unforgiving spirit is an angry, bitter spirit. (Eph 4:31-32) Jesus, as a part of His many teachings, focused heavily on forgiveness. (Matt 5:43-48) He taught if a dispute arises between us, we should be quick to resolve the matter and then “forgive and forget” it before we can be reconciled to God. (Matt 5:23-26)
What will happen when you leave this life? Will you take with you, damaged, the ONLY thing you can take with you – an unforgiving spirit? Christ loved us so that He gave His life for us so that we may be forgiven. (1 John 3:16) We should certainly follow His lead!