FORGIVENESS AT THE CRUCIFIXION
Lk 23:26As they led him away, they seized Simon from Cyrene, who was on his way in from the country, and put the cross on him and made him carry it behind Jesus.
Lk 23:27A large number of people followed him, including women who mourned and wailed for him.
Lk 23:28Jesus turned and said to them, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me; weep for yourselves and for your children.
Lk 23:29For the time will come when you will say, ‘Blessed are the barren women, the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed!’
Lk 23:30Then “ ‘they will say to the mountains, “Fall on us!” and to the hills, “Cover us!” ’
Lk 23:31For if men do these things when the tree is green, what will happen when it is dry?”
Lk 23:32Two other men, both criminals, were also led out with him to be executed.
Lk 23:33When they came to the place called the Skull, there they crucified him, along with the criminals—one on his right, the other on his left.
Lk 23:34Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.
Jesus’ prayer at the end of His life is the most beautiful prayer I have ever heard. Through His words and in the continuation of the lessons of love they encompass, God teaches me to forgive. He helps me with this with the knowledge that most people don’t even realize they are hurting us when they hurt us. Sure, there are some people that hurt us intentionally accompanied by an evil laugh like in the movies, but most hurts by our friends and loved ones are not intentional. The truth of the matter is, people often hurt us in the same way that they hurt themselves because they treat us the same way that they treat themselves. If a mother is distant and emotionally unavailable to her kids, she is the same way to herself on the inside. If a father is very surface in his relations with his family, he is also very surface with himself on the inside. If a loved one chooses alcohol or drugs over their kids, they are also choosing alcohol or drugs over a healthy unconditional love for themselves too. People just can’t give anyone else what they first haven’t given themselves. Forgiving someone because they know not what they do is wisdom beyond measure. It sets the forgiver free to walk and live in the unconditional love of God.
In close, the depth and beauty of one’s prayers illustrate the depth and beauty of their life. Jesus’ prayers and life are evidence of that.
Kristina Seymour loves to encourage and equip women through the Word and through community. She is the author of The Warrior Mom Handbook, The Warrior Mom Leadership Manual, and The Warrior Wife Handbook; they are available at Amazon.com. Kristina's Bible studies are for women who desire to live by faith in the midst of their everyday lives. She has learned that women can't survive on caffeine and animal crackers alone; women in the Word and in community are united and able to stand firm. To learn more about Kristina, please visit her recently founded Share & Company Publishing House http://seymourkristina.wix.
Originally published Tuesday, 29 November 2016.