“Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” —Luke 23:34
I’d like to think that I’m pretty good at forgiving people. Even when I’ve been really hurt by someone, with a little bit of time and distance, I find that I can let go. I just don’t like holding grudges. I think some of it has to do with my commitment to following Jesus, but when I look at how Jesus talks about forgiveness (for example: Matthew 18:21-22) and how he lives out forgiveness in the verse above, I can’t help but see that I have a long way to go before I’m really living like Jesus.
See, while I need time and distance to be able to forgive those who really hurt me, Jesus is ready to do it before he’s even suffered the full extent of what is to come. Remember, it’s after this prayer to his Heavenly Father that the people and soldiers mock him and it will be hours more before he takes his final breath. Jesus is extending forgiveness before he has even experienced the full brunt of humiliation and pain to come (a prayer of forgiveness that extended from that moment all the way out to today and until he comes again!).
Lord, may we embrace the forgiveness you offer so that so that we can give glory to you, by becoming more forgiving. Amen.