Why is saying I’m sorry so difficult to say. Not just when we’ve done something wrong, but when a group we represent or identify with does something wrong. Jesus set the example by taking on the sins of the world. He was effectively saying a huge, I’m sorry, on our behalf to the Father.
What is wrong with apologizing to someone on behalf of someone else? I’m sorry some of my ancestors treated other people like livestock. The English side. “I’m sorry we stole fathers, mothers, sons and daughters and sold them like animals. I’m sorry we captured, beat and wounded generations of humans and still called ourselves humans. I’m sorry for all the times I personally have behaved in a racist way without even being aware. I’m sorry nine people were killed and others injured at the hands of ignorance and hate.”
For the German side that helped an evil dictator exterminate six million Jews. “I’m sorry my ancestors did not try enough to protest, stop or hinder the slaughter of six million Jews and others who were deemed less than. I’m sorry we dehumanized you because of your heritage or ethnic background.”
There is something freeing about repenting on behalf of someone else. Like apologizing to someone who has been misunderstood or mistreated by Christians. Grabbing their hands, looking them in the eyes and saying, “I’m so sorry the Church mistreated you, misunderstood you, and didn’t love you as Jesus loves. I’m sorry you came to church for love and were shown hate.”
Even repenting on behalf of all women to a man who has been rejected time and time again. “I’m sorry we have not recognized or cherished your kindness, your big heart, and your eagerness to please. I’m sorry you have made yourself vulnerable only to be stepped on time and time again.”
I’ve learned through my experiences, how freeing it is for the person apologizing and the person receiving the apology. There is a cleansing, which takes place, which cannot be described, but must be experienced.
Try it. Humble yourself and apologize either for your own actions or the actions of others you represent.
It is amazing. It is healing. It is divine.