17 years ago
For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die—but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Romans 5:6-8 (ESV)
17 years ago two planes struck the World Trade Center towers in New York. One plane hit the Pentagon in Washington and another was brought down in a field in Pennsylvania. The actions of the hijackers that day shook the world as nearly 3,000 souls were lost. Everyone who witnessed those planes hitting the Trade Center towers remembers where they were whether they saw it on T.V. or in person. Events like this are hard to forget and even harder to forgive. It’s times like this that the verse above seems almost too difficult to believe.
Are we supposed to forgive those men? Are we really supposed to pray for the people who were responsible for that much death? However, this is exactly what Jesus calls us to do. This is the radicle life that Jesus calls us to live. Even if it seems impossible, we are to forgive and pray for those responsible for 9/11. Why, you may ask, would Jesus tell us to forgive and pray for such evil men? Why would he want us to show love to those who wants to see our entire nation destroyed? The answer is because Jesus first loved us. He came to us when we didn’t want to even acknowledge his existence and forgave us. He came to us and showed us love when we showed him hate. He showed us mercy when he was shown wrath. He died for us while we were still sinners and while we were still against him.
Why would we withhold forgiveness when Jesus gives it so freely? Why would we withhold prayer when Jesus is before the Father, interceding for us? I know it’s hard and I know that, even 17 years later, the wounds still feel fresh. But even when he was still bare and bleeding, Jesus did not hesitate to do that for us.
This week, seek to forgive those who have wronged you just as Christ forgave. If you have never experienced this forgiveness, run to Christ and he will show you love and grace.