As humans, we are incapable of paying off any debts of ‘self’. Jesus is the only one who can, and did, pay the price to wipe clean our deficit. We may realize our own indebtedness and ask Him to forgive us, but what about the debts we hold against others? The forgiveness of our arrears is linked inexorably to our forgiveness of theirs. Our Father was plainly offering us a practical lesson in forgiveness.
By forgiving others, we release the claim we hold against them. We can return to fellowship with Jesus. This dynamic is vitally important if we are to survive the wilderness. If we cling to any unforgiveness, there is a major blockage in our relationship with God. We cannot receive His healing touch. Satan will come and increase our pain and trapping us in misery. Forgiveness wipes away the trespass. Released from our due, we can then release others.