April 14, 2016 by pastorjdo3
This season, we focused on the saying of Christ from the Cross in Luke 23:34 verse.
But Jesus was saying, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” And they cast lots, dividing up His garments among themselves.
In this, we find Jesus being crucified, after being beaten and forced to carry his cross to Golgotha’s Hill. Jesus is in much pain! He is now nailed to the cross and hanging until He meets His death. Jesus peeps from his elevated place, looks down upon humanity, and utters the words found in verse 34 of chapter 23 of Luke; “forgive them.”
While being persecuted and punished, Christ found it within Himself seek forgiveness for those who treated Him harshly. Our point of reference, serves as a model for us, in how to interact and how to respond to those who attack us.
A question? Could it be that your response keeps people for acknowledging you as an heir? Because Jesus asked the Father to forgive them, one of the thieves hanging with Him was able to receive truth. It could very well be that the response of the ones watching as we suffer will be dictated by the words that come from our mouths, and not the Word that we quote to them. The revelation of who Jesus was to many didn’t come at the hand of miracles, but by watching The Word in action. His life was diametrically apposed to the current leaders, which to many had been revealed to be abusive and hypocritical! They watched as they taught, and judged those according to a law that they didn’t fully live our themselves; and then came Jesus!
As one encapsulated in flesh, it could be argued that more strength was found in forgiving those from the Cross, than in the actual crucifixion itself. I know, this is far fetched, but I have encountered in my own life and in the life of many others, the ability to endure hardship, pain, and struggles, while struggling to find the ability to forgive those who have offended us. How is it, many would ask, that it is possible to forgive while being persecuted? How can one suffer at the hands of another and desire for the offender to receive a release?
Most of us would have uttered these words once on the right hand of the cross, but would find it near impossible to desire for our persecutor or accuser to benefit from our sacrifice or be blessed, restored or made whole by our God. Many would have taken note, and grabbed the scroll to insure the names of those attacking would be omitted and restricted from entry. At best, an asterisk by their name denoting their crimes! At least a scarlet letter for their heavenly garments, but Jesus request a pardon.
How tainted the Cross would be, if Jesus, the symbol of love and forgiveness could not find it in His heart the compassion, grace and mercy to love a few flawed men and women. A holy act would be marred an act, by the inability to forgive, and would leave many questions. People would argue how God could forgive the sins of the world, and exclude the actions of those standing before Him. The cross would then be a sacrifice that seemingly paid for some sins, but not all. What beauty it is that Jesus showed even in the midst of pain, forgiveness is available for all, even those who remain in error.
It is this example we should follow in the midst of bearing our cross. And for this, I believe this to be a season where we should be seeking to hand deliver to some and spiritually to others a pardon! If He can forgive from the cross, we can forgive from ours!