In Luke chapter 23, we are told about the crucifixion of Christ. This is a very difficult chapter to read, and it is hard to contemplate the suffering that Christ endured at the hands of human beings. Yet despite all the pain that he went through during this ordeal, we are told, in verse 34, that in the midst of his suffering, Jesus addressed God and said, “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.”
Reading this verse really struck me tonight, because as usual I was grappling with something annoying that had happened to me at work. I was going over my reactions to it and questioning if I did the right thing and how I would react if it happened in the future, and how I was feeling about the person involved, which was less than positive, needless to say.
And then I opened my Bible and read this passage and I was overwhelmed by the love that Jesus had for the humans that tormented him to death. Even in his darkest hour, under immense suffering, he felt love and compassion for them, knowing the grievous mistake that they were making. He could have been angry and prayed for God to destroy them, and he could have destroyed them himself, but he instead prayed for their forgiveness.
It brought me up short to realize that I just need to practice forgiveness in this situation, because the person involved is more than likely not aware of the way they made me feel, and if they are, they need prayer all the more. I remember what it was like when I interacted with Christ as the consciousness of the sun while using a legal substance, and I always struggle to put down in words the immense love that I felt coming from Christ when he surrounded me in his protection and love.
This love and guidance is what he came here and endured such suffering to bring to all of us. He wants us to repent of our transgressions and ask forgiveness so that he can come into our lives and guide us to a life of obedience to his spiritual principles, of which forgiveness is one of the most important. This passage is a stunning reminder of his love for all of us, a love that he commands us to emulate in all of our affairs.
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