Saturday, 13 August 2022
‘And Jesus prayed, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”’ -Luke 23:34
Our reading today is the record of the crucifixion, death and burial of Jesus Christ. In spite of not having found any fault in Him, Pilate sentenced Him to crucifixion; yet in all of it the master plan of God and the many prophecies about Messiah were fulfilled—Christ brought to fruition the salvation plan for humankind.
When these things happened, different kinds of people witnessed the many scenes leading to Jesus’ crucifixion. For some He was a criminal, for others, He was misleading the people; He was healer for some; He was the provider for many; some considered Him a Prophet; others, a good teacher, a righteous man; for some He was a saviour from the Roman Empire, for some He was the king of Jews; for others, He was a failure; for some He was Messiah yet unable to fully accept Him and still looking for a miracle; for others, He was the only hope in their life. The list goes on! But now, right in front of them, they saw the end of an era.
Many of them were sad because all their hopes were dashed. But on the other hand, the everlasting love of our Lord saw lost mankind and opened a way to eternal life through Jesus Christ. Apostle Paul says the mystery God was revealed thus: –When we were dead in our sins ...God made us alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having cancelled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross. (Col.2:11-15). The beautiful work of God is indescribable! The one and only way for mankind was clearly drawn through Jesus Christ.
Our Father in Heaven in His mercy brought forth the forgiveness of sin to mankind through Jesus Christ. Our key verse cites the prayer of Jesus on the cross: “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” In this He forgave all who had wronged Him. The cross points to us a symbol of forgiveness that Christ Jesus offers!
As a child of God when we receive forgiveness, we have a great responsibility to forgive others too. When Jesus taught His disciples how to pray, one of the important aspect was on forgiveness – “…and forgive us our sins, for we ourselves forgive everyone who is indebted to us.” (Luke 11:4). The importance the Word of God gives for forgiveness points to its importance in Christian life. Let us look into the areas of application in our daily lives:
For a child of God: If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. (1John 1:9)
For husband/wife: - Do not let the sun set while you are still angry, (Eph.4:26-27); Eph.4:32; 5:28-33; 1Cor.7:10-11
For brothers/sisters: - So watch yourselves. “If your brother or sister sins against you, rebuke them; and if they repent, forgive them. Even if they sin against you seven times in a day and seven times come back to you saying ‘I repent,’ you must forgive them.” (Luke.17:3-4), Matt.5:23; 6:14-15, Col.3:13, Eph.4:31-32.
Towards an unbeliever: - Our Heavenly Father loves everyone. Love the person who opposes you and come against the wicked force behind him. We have fight not against the flesh and blood (Eph.6:12).
Dear child of God, as you read this, if the Holy Spirit reminds you areas where forgiveness is required- confess and receive God’s forgiveness without any delay.
Thought for the Day: “‘I can forgive, but I cannot forget, is only another way of saying, I will not forgive.’ Forgiveness ought to be like a cancelled note – torn in two, and burned up, so that it never can be shown against one.” ~Henry Ward Beecher