Father – Forgive Them
Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.
Forgiving people is not easy. We have all sinned. We have all hurt people. The old saying – hurt people – hurt people is so true. When we hurt or when others hurt us – forgiveness is not easy. We tend to hold grudges. We tend to seek revenge for the hurt. We tend to get angry and at time we close down when we are hurt. At times we even strike out at others when we are hurt – even to those closest to us – even when they had nothing to do with the hurt we feel.
What are some hurts we have experienced? My heart goes out to those who have experienced the death of a child – at the hands of someone – be it an accident or intended. I feel for those who have lost children or other loved ones in drive by shootings in some of our urban areas. The chemical attack by Assad on his people brought many images into our living rooms. Such pain in my heart watching babies gasping for a breath. I’ve talked to persons who have had hurt from abusive parents – from ugly divorces – from false accusations. These and other images and experiences beg the question – can we really forgive those who do evil in our world?
This week – Holy Week – we are reminded of the evil perpetrated on our Lord – the innocent – sinless – Jesus. He was beaten – arrested (falsely) – and crucified. He didn’t deserve any of what happened to Him – yet – as He was hanging on the cross – it is recorded that He said – “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”
I know it is hard – there are people in my life I have a hard time forgiving – but we are called to forgive others – in order for God to forgive us. Matthew 6:14 – For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.
This week – as we are reminded of Jesus’ walk to the cross – let us remember His heart for forgiveness. Let us ask God for the strength to let go of our well-deserved anger and frustration with others – forgiving them. Forgiveness will release us from a lot of pain and enable us to have peace. Several years ago – I experienced the release from my anger toward certain people – and it was life changing. I felt such a relief that I didn’t have to carry my anger and hurt anymore.
Just something for us to think about today as we go on our way.
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