Forgive them, For they know not what they do
“And Jesus said, ‘Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.’ And they cast lots to divide His garments.”
Luke 23:34 (ESV)
When someone is doing something wrong to you, it’s usually pretty hard to forgive them during the act. However, when Jesus Christ was dying on the cross, He had the wherewithal and awareness to forgive the very men who were murdering Him and forcing Him to experience an excruciating death. This is even more fascinating, considering the fact that not only was Jesus fully God, but He was also fully man. That means He felt every single physical pain throughout His body. Jesus felt the nails being hammered into his hands. He felt the deprivation of oxygen from being hung on a cross. He felt His bare, scarred back being scrapped against the tough wood over and over again. He felt the emotional pain of rejection of the people He came down from heaven to save. Yet, He found it in His heart to forgive those around Him.
Knowing that, who are we to not have the heart to forgive those around us? Why do we hold grudges against people who have wronged us, when God Himself forgave the countless number of people who showed hate and disdain toward Him? When we refuse to love and forgive others, we are refusing to show the love Christ showed us. One of Jesus’ final acts before His death was forgiving others. In fact, forgiveness was one of the main reasons God brought salvation to the world. By giving the gift of His one and only Son, God is showing that He forgives us for all of the wrongdoings we have done against Him. Even today, we constantly sin against God over and over again. However, He forgives us over and over again. This short verse summarizes the gospel message. Jesus came down to forgive us and offer us a way of salvation for those who believe and accept His forgiveness.
This week, use this passage to motivate you to forgive others. Think of all the people who have wronged you in the past and meditate on how you can forgive them, just like Jesus has forgiven you.