Focal Passage: Genesis 33:1-15
The man shifted uncomfortably in his pew as he replayed the argument over and over in his mind. He had been wrong, and he had spoken to his wife in a sinful manner. Now, the ushers with the communion elements were drawing closer. His wife stood coldly beside him.
Neither had been able to muster the will to even sing the praise songs, and much of the sermon was lost on them. How could he partake of the bread and the cup, a symbol of his unity with Christ and Christ’s bride, without reconciliation? Would she even forgive him?
Perhaps no greater human schism is recorded in scripture than that which occurred between Jacob and Esau, brothers and twins at that. Their reconciliation almost always brings tears to my eyes. If you think about it, there is some poetic irony here. You just have to ignore the chapter divisions to see it.
God tells Jacob in chapter 32 that he has wrestled with God and with man and has prevailed. Jacob responds with the acknowledgment that God has been gracious to him. Though he himself did not erect a memorial, his dislocated hip socket would serve as a memorial in and of itself to God’s grace.
Then, virtually the same scenario plays out between Jacob and Esau. Jacob is confronted, this time by his brother who graciously forgives. Jacob humbly acknowledges this act and seeks to memorialize it with a gift from his own treasure.
In sinning against Esau, Jacob had sinned against God. Now, having reconciled with God, he could be reconciled to his brother.
Our reconciliation with others flows from our reconciliation with God. We can both give and receive forgiveness, because we have been forgiven in Christ. This should be the pattern for every Christian, that as we wrong one another, and we will, we confess our sins to God that we might celebrate our reconciliation with Him and so be reconciled again and again to one another.