Jesus taught us to pray, “And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors” (Matthew 6:12). This part of the Lord’s prayer is first a gospel prayer. Forgiveness lay at the heart of the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Jesus moves seamlessly from “give us” to “forgive us.” He taught us to pray for provision (“give us this day our daily bread”) and then for divine pardon (“forgive us our debts). He addressed our most urgent physical needs followed by our greatest spiritual need.
The Lord’s Prayer establishes that we are sinners, trespassers, and debtors who need forgiveness. Only the atoning work of Jesus Christ on the cross can provide restitution and pay the mountain range of debt we owe a holy God.