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God's billboard offering forgiveness

God's billboard offering forgiveness

After 17 years of marriage, Marianne finally left Larry. “It was a culmination of things,” said Larry. “But I am desperately trying to save our marriage.”

A costly problem with a costly solution

Marianne left their home in Orlando, Florida, and went to her parents' home in Jacksonville. She changed her cell phone number so he couldn't reach her. Her parents blocked him from entering their gated community, so he sent her five-dozen roses. His goal was to ask forgiveness, to plead for the chance for the two of them to work on their relationship.

When none of those actions brought any response from his estranged wife, Larry took out a full-page ad in the Florida Times-Union on January 25, 2005. The ad read: “I can only hope you will give me the chance to prove my unending love for you. Life without you is empty and meaningless.”

The cost of a full-page ad meant that Larry sent Marianne a $17,000 apology. A relative told Larry that his wife had seen the ad. “She said my wife read the ad and started crying,” he said. “But so far I've had no response from her.”

God's billboarded solution to our problem

In the boldest of letters, God has advertised, not his request for forgiveness but his gift of forgiveness. Through Paul the Spirit announces, "I want you to know that through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you. Through him everyone who believes is set free from every sin" (Acts 13:38,29). 

After being ignored by the ones he loved, our Redeemer-God put a billboard on a hilltop just outside Jerusalem. Written in blood, the message says he is willing to pay the ultimate price—giving his only Son—to have a relationship with us.   

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Source: Rubel Shelly, Nashville, Tennessee; Source: “Man Begs Wife's Forgiveness in $17,000 Ad,” CNN.com, (1-26-05)