Daily Word of Grace # 112 (August 19, 2020)
One of Shakespeare’s often overlooked plays is Cymbeline, a play written late in the Bard’s career. King Cymbeline served as vassal king of ancient Britain for the Roman Empire during the first century. The play is filled with treachery, lechery and duplicity, and yet in the end it overflows with redemption and reconciliation. In the final scene King Cymbeline declares, “Pardon’s the word to all” ( V.v.423). How could King Cymbeline do that? Where is the justice? Where is the fairness? How do those involved in the treachery, lechery and duplicity throughout the play “learn their lesson”? And yet, King Cymbeline, who is in charge, declares pardon for everyone—and the result is redemption and restoration. In scripture Jesus Christ is identified as “the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29), the One who died “for our sins in accordance with the scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15:3), who prayed from the cross, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34). Jesus Christ is not only the King of Kings but also the King of Mercy, whose love overflows with redemption and reconciliation, and who in his death and resurrection proclaimed to a world full of treachery, lechery and duplicity that yes, “pardon’s the word to all”—including you.
Love and Prayers,