When Jesus was hanging on the cross, looking down he doesn’t see any of his apostles. John was there with his Mother, but nobody, not even Peter was brave enough to be there at this death. Yet Jesus could still say, “Father, forgive them, they know not what they do.” How awful would it be if all your friends left you at the moment you were dying? Can you imagine leaving your family member or friend when they had been wrongly accused and were sentenced to death? Where were all those people who petition the court and ask for a stay of execution when Jesus needed them?
Of course we don’t live in those times, in the United States we have the freedom to speak up and demand justice. The Jews, even those loyal to Jesus did not have that freedom.
So what excuse do we give for not forgiving someone who has wronged us? Maybe it’s a minor hurt but it could be a huge life changing hurt. Can we be as forgiving as Jesus? I think about hurts in my own life and realize sometimes it has taken me a really long time to forgive. There’s a hurt I am nursing right now that I am having to work really hard on forgiving. And what happens when someone wrongs us and doesn’t even ask for our forgiveness? You may have people like that in your life too.
Easter reminds us that even these people have to be forgiven. Most of the Jews that brought Jesus before Pilate didn’t say they were sorry, at least not before his death. But he forgave them as well as the sins we are committing right now while he hung on the cross in excruciating pain.
Help me Lord to forgive, especially in this season of Easter. Let me learn from you how to forgive. I may not yet forget, but I know I must forgive so all my sins will be forgiven by you when I come Home.