This post is for me.
It will serve as a reminder to me in the coming weeks.
A raw disturbance has occurred in my little world over the last few days, and I'm in processing mode. My mind has yet to land on one stable emotion. My emotional experiences over the last few days have been widely varied and intensely strong. Because I know me from the past, I fear the emotion I will eventually land on and stick to is anger. Therefore, I am writing this post with that in mind...so in the coming days, I will be able to clearly see what God's Word says about forgiveness.
Forgiveness because of love is the theme of the Bible; there's no lack of verses on the subject. But the one that reaches out and grabs my attention now is this: Jesus prayed, "Father, forgive them; they don't know what they're doing." (Luke 23:34, The Message). This is the prayer Jesus offered (while hanging on the cross) on behalf of those who were crucifying Him.
I've often wondered about that verse. Those folks hanging out at the foot of the cross knew what they were doing...they were sneering, jeering and mocking the man they'd sentenced to death. Yet they had no idea what they were doing. They were beating and abusing the only One who could heal their sickened souls. They were viciously killing the very One who was willingly dying for the sins they were committing in that moment.
And still...Jesus prayed for them...that the Father would forgive them.
In essence, he was defending them, their ignorance.
If I am angry and hold on to unforgiveness, I will be making a mockery of the very grace given so freely to me. I must pray that I'll be forgiving towards those with whom I'm angry. And that God will forgive those who would make a mockery of the cross. I must pray for my own heart, as well as theirs.
My prayer must be: Father, forgive me; help me to forgive others; and forgive them because they don't understand the hurt they've caused while claiming Your name.
I hope I don't have to read this post again.