Forgiveness. Of late, this topic has been filling my thoughts, my time. In my church, we are doing a sermon series on forgiveness, but that’s just added to, not initiated my consuming interest in this topic of late. Nor is it that I have a gnawing need to forgive someone. A voice just keeps telling me to focus on this topic for now. So I am.
One of the things I’ve heard most often in the many discussions I’ve had on forgiveness recently is “But it’s just so HARD to do.” Really! Let’s put this “hard” thing into perspective.
On the night of the Passover Meal, when Jesus ate with His disciples in what we know as the Last Supper, Jesus took only three of the traditional four cups of wine at the Seder. The cup He did not take, the fourth cup, is known as the “cup of restoration.” This cup symbolized man’s reconciliation with the Father. Jesus said He would not take of that cup until His return.
In the Garden, as Jesus prayed for Himself, He said: “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” – Luke 42:22 (NIV). Jesus knew what lay ahead, the excruciating punishment and death He faced. We must understand, He DIDN’T want to do it. The fully human man, Jesus, did not relish the idea of death on the cross. “…yet not my will, but yours be done.” Obedience, love. But a very HARD thing for this man Jesus to do!
We all know the horror, the inhumane suffering that Jesus endured over the next hours. I don’t have to cover that again here. And what were His first words after being nailed to the cross?
“Father, forgive them.”
So, you say, forgiving is a hard thing to do.
Put it in perspective…
Alive in the Word