Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.” Luke 23:34.
As Jesus suffered on the cross, suspended by three nails, He cries out this prayer to His Father. The man who was rejected by Israel was pleading their case to God. Jesus was not only rejected by the nation but when His life was offered to be spared by Pontius Pilate, the crowd chose Barabbas to be released and Jesus of Nazareth to be crucified.
All the disciples He chose scattered. Only one even tried to defend Him at His arrest in the Garden of Gethsemane. One of them betrayed Him to the High Priest who was looking for a reason to have Jesus killed. The Lord’s brothers and sisters were nowhere to be found. The Roman soldiers mocked and beat Him, and the religious crowd did the same in their high mindedness. None but His mother, John and some other women seemed to be concerned with His suffering. In fact, by the accounts in the gospels they showed callousness without pity.
Yet Jesus forgave. He forgave before anyone had a chance to understand. He forgave them before they realized they needed forgiveness. They shouted crucify, while he plead for their pardon. Indeed, Jesus is our great example. In Forgiving Jesus was free from any burden, any anger, free from grudges He might hold against those who hurt Him.
What about you? Are you free from the emotional weight of retribution? Are you waiting for the day that the one who hurt you gets their punishment? Are you praying that they will feel the pain that you are in?
Jesus let it go. You can let it go too. It’s not easy but you have the example of Jesus. It wasn’t easy for Him.
“And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us.” Luke 11:4. Freedom is found in forgiveness.