By Jill Briscoe

And when they had come to the place called Calvary, there they crucified Him,…Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.” ~ Luke 23:33-34

What does a person think about when he is being crucified?  When You are the Son of God dying for a lost world, You think of forgiveness.  Jesus showed us how to react to the ones responsible for our agony!  We are to pardon them for it!  But how on earth do we do that?  We pray about it!  What a part prayer played in the life of our Lord - Jesus, hanging on the cross, was in prayer!  He was in prayer for His tormentors.  Whom did Jesus need to pardon?  The disciples who forsook Him and fled, the soldiers who played dice for His clothes, the Pharisees who railed at Him, and the people who simply stood beholding!

Who is causing your suffering?  Have friends seen your misfortune and forsaken you?  Are relatives trying to do you out of your property, a legacy, or something that they owe you?  Have people railed at you in the heat of an argument?  Have others simply stood beholding your pain and doing nothing to help?  Whom do you need to forgive? 

We are commanded to forgiveness by the One who forgave us.  “Pray for those who despitefully use you and forgive as you have been forgiven,” Jesus said.  When we understand the breadth of Christ’s forgiveness, perhaps we will not find it impossible to pardon our own persecutors!  Then we will need to tell those who have hurt us that we have forgiven them.  Jesus prayed aloud, so everyone could hear: “Father, forgive them, for they do not know that they do.”

Lord, give me a fresh vision of the Cross, and all that You accomplished by becoming the substitute for my sin.  Let my life reflect a deep understanding of Your sacrifice.  Show me new ways to make You the complete master of my life.  Show me how to forgive as you have forgiven us.  Amen.