Whose Sins You Forgive, They Are Forgiven – Day 9


To seek forgiveness from Jesus and come into complete alignment with Him.


“For those whose sins you forgive, they are forgiven.”

– John 20:23


In His first appearance to the Twelve following His resurrection, the risen Lord greets His confused disciples with the reassuring words: “Peace be with you” (John 20:19). Then the Lord speaks about their future role: “As the Father sent me, so am I sending you” (John 20:21). They are to be apostles to the world, announcing the resurrection of Christ.

Next, we are told that He breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit”. Then adding, “For those whose sins you forgive they are forgiven” (John 20:22–23).

Let us take a moment to consider this extraordinary delegation of divine authority, for to forgive sins is the sole prerogative of God.

What is sin? It is wrongdoing, yes. But – it is more than that. When we consider the sin of Adam and Eve, the original sin, they did not do something particularly evil. They simply ate fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. It was not eating the fruit that constituted the sin, but that they defied the instructions of God. Their sin directly affected their relationship with God.

Sin is relational. Sin is called “an offence against God”. When we sin, we damage and may even destroy our personal relationship with God.

Jesus understood His mission as restoring the relationship between God and humanity. He came to redeem humanity from its alienation from God. He powerfully taught, in parables like the Prodigal Son, that God longs to restore relationships damaged by the wilful sin of humanity. From the cross, Jesus cried out, “Father forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34). In the heart of Jesus was such a love for humanity that, above all, He desired that sin be forgiven.

We know from our experience that when we offend someone by our actions, we need to restore the relationship and the way to achieve this is to ask for forgiveness. And the relationship is healed when forgiveness is granted.

Jesus, as risen Lord, has given His apostles the power to forgive sin. In doing this we sense that Jesus, now as risen Lord, wanted the redemption of humanity won by His death on the cross to be communicated to the whole world via the ministry of His Apostles. He desired not only that the message of forgiveness be conveyed, but that people had a means to make this forgiveness effective in their lives.

As Christians, we believe that Jesus is the Saviour. His great act of redemption on the cross has profound implications for humanity. We believe that He offers us a means by which our sins are forgiven.




Lord Jesus, I believe that You are risen from the dead. I rejoice in Your great act of redemption of humanity achieved on Calvary.

Upon Your resurrection, You entrusted authority to the Apostles to forgive sins. Lord, I place myself humbly before You and acknowledge my sins. I ask that You forgive me and restore me to full communion with the Father. 

For You alone are Lord and Saviour, forever and ever. Amen.

julian porteousAuthor Bio

Archbishop Julian Charles Porteous, DD, B. Theol. was born in 1949 in Sydney and baptised in Rose Bay Parish. Archbishop Julian has family links to Tasmania. His forebears arrived in Tasmania from England in 1853. His great-grandfather and great-grandmother were both born in Hobart, within one kilometre of St Mary’s Cathedral. His grandfather was named Manful Charles Hobart Granger.

Prayer Points and Purpose for GO 2023 in May

  1. To worship Jesus and give extravagant praise to God. Heb 12:28–29
  2. Pray that the Lamb who was slain might receive the reward for His suffering. Rev 5:6–14
  3. Pray for revival for Australia and for millions to find Christ. Isa 64:1–2
  4. Pray for revival for Israel and millions to find Christ. Rom 10:1
  5. Pray for five friends to find Christ and share the gospel with those five in May. Matt 28:18–20

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