Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.” And they divided His garments and cast lots. (Luke 23:24).
Wow! The forgiveness Jesus shown to the very one’s, who mocked and persecuted him, is hard for us to fathom isn’t it? Would you be able to extend that same forgiveness and grace? NO, not one of us could! All I can say is, Thank You Jesus, for surpassing any example, I could EVER show!
Friends, envision this scene as Jesus hung on the cross. Our savior beaten beyond recognition, and his body left bruised and shattered! A crown of thorns placed upon his head, as blood poured down his face! As the nails were hammered into his hands and feet, think of the pain he endured! FOR YOU! FOR ME! Not a pretty picture is it? It’s the reality that took place in Golgotha, on that sad and dark day! Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. (John 15:13).
Golgotha (Place of Skull) Description Below
I don’t know about you, but an accidental cut hurts something fierce. I couldn’t imagine having my body sliced repeatedly, and have open wounds, covering my entire body, seeping in blood! A thorn in your finger feels excruciating, I can’t begin to imagine a crown of thorns, being forced into my scalp! Oh to think of the agony and pain, Jesus endured is too much. The mockery, insults and laughing at him, when he done NO wrong! They changed their view fairly quickly. The crowd that loved him a few days prior, now hated him enough to shout “Crucify Him!”
Even as Jesus hung on the cross, he still showed love, compassion, and forgiveness. He didn’t spat words of hatred. And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward of our deeds; but this Man has done nothing wrong.” Then he said to Jesus, “Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.” And Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.” (Luke 23:41-43).
Jesus took the penalty for you and I. He freely gave us his forgiveness, when he had every reason NOT TO DO SO, but he did! Y’all, the nails didn’t keep Jesus hanging there, his Love for you and I, is what held him there. Just thinking of the Crucifixion, makes me become so emotional, it breaks my heart and soul, to know what he endured for ME!
Recently I went to the cinemas. I wanted to see the movie, I can only imagine. It’s about the lead singer of MercyMe and his life. I had heard that he endured abuse, but I honestly had no idea, until I seen that movie, how bad he had it. The subject of abuse hits way to close, in my own life.
For so long Bart harbored anger and bitterness towards his father. After seeing the movie I can understand why he felt that way. He thought his father didn’t deserve forgiveness, for the way he treated him for so long. Y’all, I’m not meaning a slap every now and then, I mean full on abuse for years, ever since he was a child.
I don’t want to give away to much of the movie, cause you may wanna have a date night, with your loved one Ya know. You’re welcome for the suggestion. I will tell you this much, in the end it shows the unconditional love, grace and forgiveness, that is modeled following Jesus Christ’s example. We are commanded to forgive..ALWAYS!
If you have read my testimony, I too know what it’s like to be abused. After fifteen years, I know how it can beat you down, in mind, body and spirit. I had so much anger, resentment, hatred, and bitterness in my heart. May I NOT dare forget to mention, the “why me” “how could you let this happen to me” blaming God for every wrong, that had happened to me.
I don’t even want to reveal, how long I let it, keep me from a relationship with God. Let’s just say it was way to long. Looking back at it now, I can see how God had me sheltered in his care, though at the time, it sure didn’t feel that way at all. I thought God abandoned me! When in reality I ABANDONED HIM!
I’m going to tell you like it is. Do you know who it hurt the most, in my situation, my ex-husband or Me? I will give you one guess…It was ME friends! When you harbor anger, bitterness, and not be willing to forgive in your heart, you’re hurting yourself, more than the one, who offended and hurt you. It just hardens your heart, in all you do, and to all you come in contact with.
With God’s help, because I sure couldn’t have done it, in my own strength, I have let the bitterness go, and have allowed forgiveness in my heart. Trust me, it wasn’t easy. I fought tooth and nail, not wanting to let it go. Even now, Satan loves playing with my mind, and whispering in my ears, to get bitter and angry. He wants to remind me, how hard it was for me, so he can drive a wedge, between me and God.
Forgiveness has come a long way, when you feel sorry, for the one who mistreated YOU. I have prayed for him, and hopes he reconnects with God, before he takes his final breath on this earth. To think of anyone going to Hell for eternity is scary. You aren’t promised tomorrow. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which spitefully use you, and persecute you. (Matthew 5:44).
I have no idea what kind of burdens and hurts, you’re carrying in your hearts today Friends, but God does. Can I ask who or what, is allowing your heart, to not extend forgiveness? Give it to God! Let it go! Letting go frees you from the pain. Trust Me, I know! It will eat at you to the point, you will become bitter. You do NOT want that. It isn’t easy but if we choose NOT to forgive others, he will NOT forgive you or I. That should be enough reason alone to forgive.
Scriptures of Reference
- And be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you. (Ephesians 4:32).
- Then Peter came to Him and said, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven. (Matthew 18:21-22).
- Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, long-suffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. (Colossians 3:12-13).
- Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. (Luke 6:37).
- But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. (Matthew 6:15).
I know we all have issues with not forgiving, in one way or another. It can be easier to hold on to the hurt. We don’t want to give the individual the power, to continue to keep hurting us. However, if we want to receive forgiveness, then we must be willing to extend forgiveness. If Jesus could forgive being nailed upon a rugged roman cross, there shouldn’t be any reason, why we can not forgive as well. Remember the treatment that Jesus went through, and the pain he felt, yet his reply was, Forgive them Father, they know not what they do. We need to forgive also!
Dear Heavenly Father, help us to understand, that we need to be more like you. Not just in the area of forgiveness, but in ALL we say and do. Help us to see others as you see them, redeemed and forgiven, by the blood you shed on Calvary for all.
Your Sister in Christ
Hey Friends. Thank you for taking time out of your day, to spend a few moments in mine. As a follower of Jesus Christ, it’s important to me to share the gospel with you. I write about my ups and downs, my struggles and insecurities, but above all else, I share how God brings me through it all. Let’s continue our walk with Christ together.