HOPE AND FORGIVENESS
Read: Luke 23:34, 47
“34 Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided up his clothes by casting lots. ” (NIV Luke 23:34)
“47 The centurion, seeing what had happened, praised God and said, “Surely this was a righteous man.” ” (NIV Luke 23:47)
Study: Jesus’ friends and his nation betrayed him, a Roman procurator who could see his innocence approved his crucifixion (cf. John 19:4-6), and he felt a deep sense of separation from God (cf. Matthew 27:46). Yet on the cross, Jesus did what might seem impossible—he prayed, “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they’re doing.” Too many Christians just ignore injustices that occur around them as long as they don’t happen to them. Jesus rebuked very pious people in his day for carefully giving a tenth of even tiny herbs like mint “while neglecting justice and love for God” (Luke 11:42). In what ways each day, in regular or volunteer activities, could you bring about greater justice? Are you willing to consistently make justice a priority?
Pray: Compassionate God, you suffered so much, yet prayed, “Father, forgive them…” As you forge a new identity in me, may I see myself and others through your eyes, and forgive as you forgave. Amen.