2012-06-14 - Difficult to Forgive
The Epistles of John ~ Part 41 ~ 1 John 2
Luke 23:34 And Jesus prayed, Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do. And they divided His garments and distributed them by casting lots for them. (AMP)
Have you ever been seriously wronged or know someone who was been? Have you been injured by malice or carelessness, or wrongly accused? People are mugged everyday, probably several times a day in some major cities, for the contents of their wallets and purses. The credit cards, IDs and cash are the target. The injuries both physical and emotional are terrible enough. That can be followed by a long and tedious effort to clear your name of damage due to identity theft, physical therapy, and lost time at work and more.
Now imagine forgiving that person.
There are difficult people and circumstances in each of our lives - some obviously more serious than others. Most are not nearly as serious as those in the questions listed above and the myriad of others that circulate nearby. It is sometimes hard enough for us to forgive in these not so serious cases.
Jesus was a political prisoner as far as the Roman guards were concerned. Jesus had been subjected to thirty-nine lashes that often killed the recipient, beaten while blindfolded, and had a crown made of inch long thorns driven into His scalp. He was stripped and hung naked on a cross with nails in His hands and feet. His clothing was split up between the guards in a dice game quite possibly played right in front of Him. He then asks God the Father to forgive everyone involved in His suffering.
We were the reason He was there. This is what Jesus came to do - to die in our place for our sin debt and break the chains of sin and death. He forgave us an unspeakable debt that we could never have paid in our own strength.
And this is love, not that I have first loved you ... the hymn starts. While we were still His enemies He did this for us. Think about that.
Lord Jesus - You have shown us by example how much can be forgiven. You have promised that Christians would be known by their love. Help us to be wise as serpents but gentle as doves. Amen.
Grace & Peace,