Sunday, March 9, 2014

Focus '14-Modeling Jesus-Entry #10

Hi Friends!

As we journey through the Lenten Season to Easter we will be exploring the 7 life-changing statements of Jesus from the Cross. The first statement is one of forgiveness.

“Finally, they came to a place called The Skull. All three were crucified there—Jesus on the center cross, and the two criminals on either side. Then Jesus said, ‘FATHER, FORGIVE THEM, for they do not know what they are doing.’” Luke 23:33-34 (NLT)

Jesus spoke these words during a time of intense pain and supreme self-sacrifice leaving us an example where excuses for resentment and bitterness wane. If there is a person in your life that would benefit from your forgiveness please pray and ask God to empower you through His Spirit to model Jesus and extend compassion to them.

I understand this can be a really huge challenge for people who have been significantly wounded by another but I would ask you to consider a couple of truths: 1) we serve a really huge God and 2) each of us have at some point significantly wounded another. The latter makes our need as great as those who have hurt us and the former makes forgiveness possible.

May we all celebrate the Lenten Season by fasting from bitterness and extending the forgiveness Jesus affords to us to others.

God's Peace,

1 comment:

  1. Jesus always leads by example. He doesn't say "I won't do it, but I want you to do it". He does it Himself, and then asks us to do it through the same power He has: the Holy Spirit living in us.

    We can (and should) echo Jesus' words. The people who have hurt us do not know what they are doing. Even if the actions were intentional and were meant to hurt us, the hurters don't have God's perspective, and they don't know what they were doing.

    We cannot do this on our own. We can't put on a stiff upper lip and carry on as if nothing happened. Only God can offer that forgiveness. The end of Mark 2:7 says "who can forgive sins but God alone?" (Those who said it were fighting against Jesus identifying Himself as God - which was another hurt against Him).

    Lord, help me set aside my pride and my "rights", and forgive those who have hurt me. I look to Jesus as my example, and it is in His name I pray. Amen.