Devotional – May We Forgive Them

In the narrative of Jesus’ ministry on earth, there are many stories that demonstrated his profound love for those he encountered. And to be honest, many people he encountered were not necessarily that easy to love. But no other story captures the true depth of Jesus’ love, compassion and grace as that moment when looking down from the cross at the throng of jeering spectators and Roman soldiers, Jesus uttered through his agony the words, “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.”

Forgiveness in the face of betrayal or hurt is seldom easy for us. The pain—both physical and mental—lingers, and too often our thoughts turn to anger and revenge. After all, somebody has to pay for what has been done to us. The Bible uses the big word “propitiation” to express that same sentiment. “Somebody has to pay.” When Jesus looked out at the crowd surrounding him – and by extension at us – he saw all the hurt and pain that would ever be inflicted upon us – and by us – as a result of the evil in this world. And in his love for us, he became that propitiation.

May we, through the transforming power of the Holy Spirit, begin to see the people surrounding us through the same eyes that looked down from the cross. To see beyond the evil they may do, and to comprehend the unconditional love held out for each of them, and for us, by the Father, Son and Spirit. The Father’s forgiveness is already ours. May we graciously extend that forgiveness to others.

 

By Tim Sitterley
Regional Director USA Western Region
Eugene, Oregon

 

3 thoughts on “Devotional – May We Forgive Them”

  1. „If man had his way, the plan of redemption would be an endless and bloody conflict. In reality, salvation was bought not by Jesus’ fist, but by His nail-pierced hands; not by muscle but by love; not by vengeance but by forgiveness; not by force but by sacrifice. Jesus Christ our Lord surrendered in order that He might win; He destroyed His enemies by dying for them and conquered death by allowing death to conquer Him.“

    ― A.W. Tozer, Preparing for Jesus’ Return: Daily Live the Blessed Hope

  2. Thank you, Pastor Tim! Indeed, Jesus took all of humanities’ betrayals, abuses and violence against us into Himself and paid for it ALL on the cross!

  3. Thank you Tim for reminding us of the love of God, as Jesus spoke these words on the cross! A love that is ready to die so that others may live! Our Creator on the Cross was making all of us a New Creation, taking away all the hate and lustful sins of this present evil world and transferring us into the kingdom of the Son of His love. Col 1:13 We all exist only as He Wills, and He Wills we Live and not die! No one of us can now boast except In Jesus Christ, in whom God exchanged our sins for His Righteousness, making us all a New Creation, Holy and without Blame!

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