Wednesday, June 5, 2013

When Forgiveness Seems Impossible

Jesus was beaten, mocked, scourged, crowned with thorns, forced to carry His cross, nailed to the cross and lifted up to die the death of a common criminal. As He hangs there in utter humiliation and pain, He lifts His voice toward heaven and says, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do” [Luke 23:34]. The very first recorded words of Jesus from the cross were a prayer, not for himself, but for those who were humanly responsible for putting Him on the cross.

Jesus literally practiced what He preached. On one occasion when the crowds gathered to hear Him teach, He told them, “Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them who despitefully use you, and persecute you” [Matthew 5:44]. No threats, no condemnation, no bitterness, no vile expressions uttered in anger just words of love for his enemies as he out of His own forgiveness of them asks His Father to forgive them.

We are to be like Jesus. Jesus is not only asking us to forgive a spouse, a child, a parent or a friend but an enemy. Lord, help me to be like you!

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