Easter is a few days away and at this time of year it always benefits us to revisit familiar stories, to read familiar accounts of what happened, and to pay close attention to what Jesus actually said during this most special time for the Christian.
Over the coming days we will look at what He said from the cross.
The first saying of Jesus from the cross is found in Luke 23.34 and we read that
…Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”
Even to the very end, Jesus was others-focused. This will come up again and again as we move through the last things He said in His earthly life. Others. Right up to the end, Jesus was others-focused. Right up to the end, Jesus sought forgiveness for those that did not deserve it and had not earned it. Is there a more poignant example of His grace in action than Jesus on the cross seeking forgiveness for those literally crucifying Him?
Don Stewart writes,
He came to earth for the purpose of forgiving sinners and He loved them and forgave them up until the end.
How about you?
Is there anybody you need to forgive?
Is there anybody that you need to reconcile with?
Is there anybody from whom you need to ask forgiveness?
We are encouraged to seek forgiveness if we have wronged others (Matthew 5.23.24) and to forgive as we’ve been forgiven (Ephesians 4.32).
Seek that today.
As we move through the words of Jesus on the cross and pause to reflect on this truly incomprehensible sacrifice, let us not overlook the practical applications in our own lives. Here, as Jesus said “Father, forgive them…”, let us pursue forgiveness and reconciliation with those around us today.