Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing. Luke 23:34
“Within twenty-four hours of his mother[‘s death]…Chris found himself uttering these powerful, grace filled words: ‘Love is stronger than hate… Though in agony, Jesus’ love continued to triumph.” Amy Peterson
Forgiveness. Easier said than done, a phrase my mother would use with me, would be appropriately used to describe this idea. Forgiveness isn’t difficult to comprehend but difficult to carry out in execution. It’s difficult because people can deeply hurt us to the point of even destroying us. People can use nasty words. Friends can act viciously around us. Family can tear strips off us at a time. They may abandon us, betray us and leave us alone when we need them most.
This is what happened to Jesus the night before his death on the cross. He was betrayed by one of his closest disciples, abandoned by the rest and left to walk his final moments alone. All the while, knowing his best friend would betray him three times that very night. Soldiers beat him, mocked him and hung him on the cross to die and when all humanity is finally taken out of the picture, Jesus utters these words in Luke 23:34 “Father forgive them for they do not know what they are doing.”
The incredible strength Christ’s shows for us as his enemies at that very moment is incomprehendable. It is something I’m not sure I could do. But this is what God has done for us. We were children of darkness, blind to our own sin and wandering aimlessly without any mind of God our Father. We mocked him and stole from him for our own pleasure. We denied him and at times we abandon him to chase after our own idols again and again. Yet even now, Jesus pleads for us before his heavenly father, asking him to forgive us for our brokenness, our rebellion and our selfish ways.
We then should turn our life around knowing how much Christ has forgiven us. We should reflect on this every day and when someone does us harm, in light of how much Jesus has forgiven us, may we be quick to forgive others for the sins they commit against us.
Prayer of the day: “Father, forgive me when I find it hard to forgive others. Help me to demonstrate that love is stronger than hate.”
Parkland Community Church:
We Exist to Develop People Who Love Jesus and Serve Others.