Forgiveness seems like the hardest thing. It's hard to give forgiveness. It's hard to receive forgiveness. This section shows us a very overlooked part of one verse, that is very powerful.
Let's face it, up to this point, Jacob has been anything but up-standing. From birth, there was the whole, race out of the womb thing with his brother. He made Esau sell him his birth right for some soup(wierd story). Then he tricked his father into blessing him instead of Esau. This is a sibling rivalry! Even when Jacob goes to Laban, he is still dishonest. Not really the guy I would choose as a father of the faith. But God does.
Fast forward now to Jacob's return from Laban, he is faced with the sudden reality that when he last saw Esau, he was ready to kill him. You begin to see Jacob start to panic. He schemes and tries to figure out how to satiate esau's wrath. And at the end of his rope, he does what all people do, he prays. Scripture says he wrestled with God all night long. He would not stop until God did something. Have you ever had that kind of burden? The kind where you lose sleep? Utterly dependent on God to move?
Finally, the brothers are face to face. Jacob, humbled. Esau, forgiving. And here comes my favorite line, Gen 33:10b "For I have seen your face, which is like seeing the face of God, and you have accepted me." Jacob just saw the face of God. But he says seeing the forgiveness of his brother is like seeing the face of God. And he's right, forgiveness is beautiful. This looks like a story we see Jesus tell later on. A younger brother runs away and comes back to the father humbly and in need of forgiveness.
We Never see Jacob ask for forgiveness or apologize. We never see Esau bring up the offense. It's forgiveness with no strings attached. No holding anything over his head. That type of unconditional forgiveness is like seeing the face of God. Forgiving others even if they never ask for it is a demonstration of grace. The type of reconciliation only God can bring.
Anyone you need you demonstrate God's forgiveness to? Anyone wronged you that you need to show grace? Jacob tells us that forgiveness and acceptance after wronging someone is like seeing the face of God. And that guy would know!