Lately I have been binging Fringe, a wonderful sci-fi show with two versions of Earth. Spoilers ahead!
In season 4 Episode 9 we find Walter Bishop, played by John Noble, talking with his alternate wife from the other side, Elizabeth, played by Orla Brady. Years ago he had a young son who died. he broke the barrier between the two universes to help that version of his son…but in the timeline of season 4 Peter did not survive. He drowned in the lake.
His act physically fractured two universes and here he mourns his action alongside this woman from the other side, the alternate of his wife who in his universe had committed suicide. He realizes that both universes were almost destroyed because he broke the barrier between them. This conversation appears when the Elizabeth from the other side has come to ask Walter to help a version of Peter that has come to him.
Elizabeth: I saw how much you loved him, your strength.
Walter: Not strength, hubris! I’ve been punished for it ever since.
Elizabeth: By Whom?
Walter: By God, by a deity, whatever you want to call it. I understand I deserve it. No man should do what I did.
Elzabeth: You made a mistake, that’s what being a man is.
Walter: No, it was more than a mistake. I broke universes. I asked for a sign of forgiveness, but I got nothing. There is no absolution for me.
Elizabeth: Well I don’t believe that. I forgive you Walter. I forgave you a long time ago. And if I can, God can.
We often feel like our sin has destroyed the world. While your sin alone has not physically broken the universe, our sin as a whole, as a species, has broken our universe. In Romans 8:22 we are told that the “whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth…” No matter your view on “climate change” or “global warming” we must all recognize that our sin has devastated this reality. One of our very first commands from God was to tend the Garden of Eden. To care for this world He gave us. Then Adam and Eve chose to eat from the one tree that they were told not to eat from. They broke a simple rule and in some way it created a legacy of sin that we all deal with in some form.
Sin really is sin. It is not acceptable, but there is grace. Jesus Himself forgave men for sin on several occasions. When Jesus taught his disciples to pray he told them to ask for forgiveness but then he taught them to share forgiveness. He is there to forgive you. You only have a few steps in walking with Him. We all take these steps regularly. This isn’t a one time deal, you will consistently find new areas to seek forgiveness and help in overcoming sin.
Confession: this is a recognition that sin is sin. An admittance that you have done something wrong, something outside of what God wants for us. It might have been a rebellious sin with full knowledge or it might have been a situation of simply missing the target. Either way sin is still sin.
Repentance: this is an ancient military term, it means to turn around 180 degrees and go the other direction. In life with Jesus that means leaving our sin in the past and walking away from it with Jesus help. You don’t have to do this alone.
Pass on the forgiveness. Jesus told his disciples to continue passing on forgiveness. If we accept it we must also share it to others. Forgiving someone means you won’t let their choice affect how you treat them. You won’t let their sin control you or lead you to sin against them or others. No one is perfect at this. I am still in a long process of this myself. Sometimes we must forgive someone who hurt us but not with sin; with an action that was in their rights. An example of that would be dating rejection.
Our sin as a whole has broken this reality, but we are all offered forgiveness by Christ. Will you accept and share that forgiveness?