Luke 23: Willing to Forgive
I think that we all have a desire for justice. I think there is something about humanity that embraces fairness and does not want to see the innocent suffer. Jesus was an innocent victim. He was brought to death based on charges of essentially treason against Rome, and Pontius Pilate found Him innocent before caving to the desire of the crowd and consenting to the crucifixion in Luke 23. I always am amazed by the fact that Jesus forgave all these people in some of His final moments before death.
Luk 23:33 And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified him, and the malefactors, one on the right hand, and the other on the left.
Luk 23:34 Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.
I am incredibly grateful to have never faced the terrors of crucifixion. However, I am pretty confident that my first instinct would not be to forgive those who would be doing that to me. Even if I knew I deserved a death sentence, I don’t think I would want to forgive those performing the crucifixion.
Jesus on the other hand was entirely innocent. He did not deserve what He received, but He willingly took on the penalty for all of us. He died to bridge the gap. He was and is the true way to salvation. Despite all of that and the fact His entire trial was unjust, He was still willing to forgive.
Obviously, that is a powerful example for each one of us. If Jesus was willing to forgive in those circumstances, how much easier should it be for us to forgive those around us? If Jesus could forgive people who were driving nails through His hands, shouldn’t I be able to forgive someone who said something bad about me? Clearly, Jesus was perfect and I am not. However, it shows me the direction I need to move in. As Christians, we endeavor to become more like Christ, and forgiveness was a hallmark of Jesus’ character.