Today’s Reading: Luke 23:32-38
Today’s Reference: Luke 17:4 “If he sins against you seven times in the day, and turns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ you must forgive him.”
“Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”
How could He even say it? With nails piercing His hands and feet, hanging on the Cross with His lungs straining for air…how could that be the first thing that came to His mind? The Greek text implies He didn’t just say it once, He repeated it over and over. “Father, forgive them, forgive them, for give them.” Right in the midst of His agony, He prayed for the benefit of His tormentors. What unimaginable mercy! But for Jesus, God’s plan was more important than His own suffering.
How long does it take you to forgive someone who hurts you? It’s not easy to do. Our own pain tends to consume us, and does not leave much room for anyone else’s feelings…especially not the person who caused the pain in the first place. Have you hardened your heart against someone and refused forgiveness? Let today be the day you follow Christ’s example and say, “Yes, I forgive.”
Father, forgiveness isn’t easy for me. When I’m hurt, I want to hurt back. Help me to feel Your Son’s tenderness towards those who cause me pain, and learn to forgive when I am wronged.
In Jesus’ name, amen.