Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.”
It’s crazy to me how even in the darkest hour of Jesus’ life, he was still offering forgiveness for the lost. Although the pain and heartache was unbearable and death was right around the corner, He STILL never lost sight of His purpose.
Here is a question to ponder…
Who Offended You?
- Maybe someone at work betrayed you.Or you had a close friend that exposed you.
- Perhaps your Mom or Dad did something that really hurt you and this has lasted over a period of years and years. Or your child has rejected you and said some offensive things to you.
- Perhaps you are still aching over your spouse’s sexual past and you just can’t let it go. Maybe your spouse betrayed you by looking at pornography, or lied about something, or strayed from his or her marital vows.
- Of course, there are always a few who fail into this category…you are angry at yourself and you just can’t forgive yourself for something you’ve done.
Jesus was offended…He suffered Betrayal, false accusation, rejection, abuse, humiliation…be He STILL forgave. Let’s be clear, forgiveness is NOT minimizing the seriousness of an offense. It is not an instant restoration of trust. And it’s not resuming a relationship without changes.
But forgiveness IS giving someone something they don’t deserve, in advance, before they are even able to earn it. It’s choosing to show mercy and kindness, before they ever asks or works for it. It’s choosing to bless without condition. And the Bible says we should do this. All the time. Forgive others…without condition…in advance.
And just in case it wasn’t enough to forgive the people who drove nails in his hands, Jesus turns to the guy beside him. A real criminal. And says…“I assure you, today you will be with me in paradise.”