Friday, April 14, 2017

Honoring the one who hung on a cross

Can there be any doubt that Jesus was all about love? We know that he took the humble form of a servant when he walked this earth. He got down on his knees and washed the feet of his disciples, including the one who would betray him. He taught us to pray, not just for our friends, but for our enemies as well. But the most telling act of love he gave us was his death on the cross. It was love that put him there, and even while he was dying, he remained true to who he was, offering a prayer of forgiveness for the very people who were crucifying him.

How different the story of salvation would be if Jesus had cursed those who nailed him to a cross where he would slowly bleed and die. But, of course, that’s not what he did. Knowing that those who had crucified him were, in a sense, damning themselves by their actions, he spoke on their behalf. He asked God not to hold their sin against them. He responded to their hatred with love.

One of the amazing things about Jesus’ prayer of forgiveness is that he offered it without anyone requesting it. So often we think that forgiveness is offered only after the person who has wronged us comes to us and asks to be forgiven. But no one asks Jesus for forgiveness in this scenario. Instead, he offers it with no self-acknowledgement of their guilt whatsoever. He forgives them when they might not even realize they have anything to be forgiven for.

Is there someone in your life you have had trouble forgiving? Have they done something that has hurt you so deeply you can’t find it in your heart to forgive them? Have you been waiting for them to come to you and apologize first?

Forgiveness isn’t only for the one who is forgiven; it also benefits the one who does the forgiving. Why not honor the one who hung on a cross and offered forgiveness in an act of pure love by praying the same prayer for those who have wronged you? Carrying a grudge is a terrible burden to bear. It’s time to set yourself free.

Father, forgive them for they don’t know what they’re doing.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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