“Jesus said, “Father forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.”
So often the best lessons learnt are those that are taught by example. Here in today’s passage we learn one of the greatest lessons that can be learnt, taught by someone living it as He is being crucified.
Jesus had just been betrayed by one of His disciples whom he had invested in for the last three years. Judas in cold blood led the temple guard to Jesus in the dark of night, in the garden of Gethsemane, and betrayed His Friend, Rabbi and Master with a lifeless kiss. Moments later Jesus is being spat upon, called blasphemous, having His beard ripped out, hit with a staff, and judged by the false accusations presented against Him. He then is flogged to cowardly leaders who betray the just authority that was given to them by sentencing and executing an innocent man (who by the way had done nothing by the Roman law to deserve death). Then in Jesus’ darkest moment of complete vulnerability, when the crow cried out, Peter one of Jesus’ closet friends and disciples betrays Him by denying He ever knew His Master.
Yet here, after all of the above, Jesus cries through a beaten, broken and almost lifeless body, “Father forgive them, they know not what they are doing.” What love!! You almost have to double take. Did Jesus really just say that? After all He has been through? If anyone has the right to be angry, hold resentment, scream, shout and curse, then it’s Jesus! But He doesn’t do that at all. All the comes out of Jesus, even in His darkest moment, is LOVE..
If there is someone whom you are holding animosity towards, bearing a grudge towards or simply can’t forgive; look at Jesus as your example. He had every right not to forgive but He did so liberally. You are forgiven, so you must forgive yourself and with the same measure you have been forgiven, forgive others! Jesus showed us how to do it. Go and do likewise!