I have learned many lessons through this 40 Day journey… I think… no I am positive that this is the one that is going to take me the most wrestling with to conquer.
I want to say this before I begin… I am STILL in the process of extending forgiveness through our frustrations because we are still in the midst of our struggle. There are things happening all the time that are added to what feels like a mountain of pardons that I need to prayerfully grant and work through.
I was tempted… no better yet I begged God to allow me to replace this word with another one but I felt strongly that he wanted me to show you my struggle with forgiveness today.
I find amazing irony that only God could orchestrate in the fact that today as I write these words… it is Good Friday. The day in history that symbolizes the incredible injustice of Jesus being crucified an innocent man who was willing to take on the sins of the world so that we as believers could avoid the guilty verdict that we all deserve.
His act of sacrifice was the ultimate gift of forgiveness that is extended to each and every one of us who believe in his life, his death, and Resurrection.
There is so much that I am struggling to forgive in our struggle right now… and as I am STILL seeking guidance and direction on this issue and finding it in the way that Jesus modeled it on that fateful Friday so long ago. When he cried out “Father Forgive Them For They Know Not What They Do.”
That has become a powerful prayer model that I have followed many times throughout our journey.
It has been and is still tempting to be angry at people who are carrying out unjust orders and fighting against people that they know nothing about. It is human nature to grow frustrated and develop grudges against someone who is hurting you or someone that you love.
However, Jesus modeled a different reaction on the cross. He did not lash out in anger or scream scornful statements at the people who had sentenced him to the terrible torture that he was enduring. Instead, he cried out to his father in heaven to forgive their actions.
His cry was not only for the people who had arrested him, tried him, and crucified him… but also for each and every one of us. With the exception of Jesus every person alive in the past, present, or future has committed sins and done wrong. It was for those transgressions as well that Jesus cried out to his father in heaven… so that by accepting that forgiveness we are extended an invitation to live with him in heaven for eternity.
I did nothing to deserve that type of forgiveness. I am humbled and grateful every time I think about the sacrifice that he made for me that day on the cross.
He made that sacrifice for EVERYONE… even those that have hurt me and caused our family great pain.
If Jesus can love them and forgive them… then how am I entitled not to.
Forgiveness is not an emotion — it is a choice that we make to follow Christ’s example instead of the world’s. As hard as it is for me today, I know that I MUST choose to lay down my anger, frustration, hurts, and hostility TODAY. I am taking my first steps towards laying them at the foot of the cross- the ultimate symbol of forgiveness- and exchanging them for God’s peace.
I love this song and encourage you to listen to it today as I reminder of what Jesus did for us so long ago so that we today can follow his model of forgiveness.
I invite you to travel with me on this 40 day journey as I seek to find and share perspective in our pain. Connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, or by subscribing to the blog. Feel free to also catch up on the previous posts in this series by clicking here.
Today, I would love to hear your thoughts about forgiving those who hurt you-please feel free to leave a comment below.