Luke 23:34 (ESV)
And Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” And they cast lots to divide his garments.
In the movie – The Passion of the Christ – the suffering of Jesus is portrayed very accurately. You can imagine what Jesus had just been through. He had been spat upon, his hair and beard pulled, they made fun of him, they ridiculed his teaching, they slapped him, they whipped him and they pressed a crown of thorns into his head. Eventually they nailed him to the cross. And this is what he says, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.”
Even from the cross Jesus along with the father forgives his perpetrators. The union that he shares with his father is evident even in his forgiveness. Jesus teaches us that when injustice is being done to us the father takes it personally. Likewise, when we forgive we are forgiving on behalf of the father.
Jesus then reminds us that sin is ignorance. When we sin we become ignorant. We become so ignorant that despite being aware of the consequences of our behavior we still choose to go ahead with our action. Jesus reminds us from the cross that we can accept his forgiveness and change our ways.
Forgiveness is a very difficult decision. But it is a very important decision. More than anything, it offers us, the victim, freedom. We must strive to forgive, because the father has forgiven us. With God all things are possible. So with God’s help let us try to forgive. Additionally, with the power of the Holy Spirit let us hope for our pain to be transformed into compassion and our memory into prayer and intercession.
The cross is at the center of our journey as Christians. Jesus reminds us from the cross that forgiveness comes from the father's loving heart and we must extend this forgiveness to others.
Dear Lord, thank you for the relief that Your forgiveness brings to our life. Help us find others to offer it today. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.