And Jesus said “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”
Forgiveness: Being willing to bear the pain of another’s misdeeds against us.
True forgiveness never comes without a cost to the forgiver.
Forgiveness, a topic I have often thought about. How does one forgive? We are called to “love one another.” Yet, regularly neighbors, friends, family, churches have slighted me or deeply wounded me, as I am sure I have hurt them. How does one love through the deep pains? How do we obey the command to “forgive one another, as I have forgiven you.” (Col 3:13, Eph 4:32)? It is not easy.
Jesus, who is on the cross, shows the way. HE has been persecuted, rejected, betrayed, denied, beaten, mocked and is now dying an excruciating death on the cross. He has not yet completed his redemptive work. Yet, He takes his pain to the Father and asks for forgiveness: to not hold an account against them for their misdeeds because of what he suffers.
We, too, can learn to ask the Father to not hold an account against anyone for their misdeeds against us.
We can ask for help to learn the process of forgiving, to bear the pain, to reach out for understanding (“for they know not what they do”) to be prepared for and open to an opportunity for reconciliation.
Jesus, who bore all the pain of God’s wrath against our sin, now stands before the Father as our advocate. Because of what Jesus has done, we now have forgiveness and reconciliation with God.
What is our response? Are we willing to bear the cost of forgiving others?