"Father forgive them for they know not what they do."
These are the words that Jesus cries out on the cross as he awaits his death. He has been brutally beaten, ridiculed by those around him, his hands and feet are impaled to make sure he remains on the cross while the splinters of the wood poke and prod at his skin, and he hangs painfully on the cross with a crown of thorns on his head only to makes matters that much worse.
He is hung on the cross at noon only to suffer and die three hours later at 3 o'clock in the afternoon. After he dies on the cross, he is taken down and put away in a tomb behind a stone. Three days later he resurrects and walks out of that tomb.
The words that Jesus says are ones that have always stuck with me. "Father forgive them for they know not what they do". Jesus is hanging from a cross, dying in one of the most painful ways ever known to man, being betrayed by those around him and still finds so much love in his heart that he offers up a moment of forgiveness for us.
God's forgiveness is the ultimate form of love. God forgives us no matter what we do and forgives us no matter how many times we do something. How many times do people do us wrong in our own lives yet we can't find it in our hearts to forgive them?
How many times do we forgive someone but they make the same mistake at another point and we can't forgive them after that? How many times do we find it in our hearts to forgive someone but even still we can't seem to find a way to repair our relationship with them?
We've all been in this situation whether if we've refused to forgive someone for something that they've done against us or if we do find a way to eventually forgive them but we feel as if things can't get ever go back to being the way they were between us and them. That is the amazing thing about God's love.
He loves us so much that he forgives us when are truly sorry for what we have done wrong for a countless amount of times. In the example of the passion, Jesus forgives us for condemning him to a painful death met by betrayal.
While Jesus forgives us for all of these things, we struggle to forgive people for the simplest of things. When a friend says a harsh word to us after a hard day, when someone excludes us from something, when somebody puts others things or people before us, all of these things and more are things that we can find to be unforgivable due to the fact that we have been hurt in the process. When have we chosen to forgive like Jesus?
Quite honestly it is rare to find moments where we have forgiven as Jesus has forgiven us. When we receive Jesus' true forgiveness, we feel extreme love. Imagine the love that we can show and spread by forgiving others as Jesus has forgiven us.If Jesus can forgive us after a horrifying death on the cross, then we can forgive others for the small things that come in our lives. This is one of the most important takeaways from Good Friday and something we should implement in our lives every day.