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Leave It to Jesus

“Father forgive them, for they know not what they do,” or something very near to that.  That’s what Jesus said while his murderers stared, not helping, not caring, not sorry.   You know, I feel like I am pretty good at forgiving and moving on until I consider this verse. Now,  it’s a small thing to forgive small acts of rudeness or neglect, though I find that I do have trouble pardoning the drivers that give me dirty looks and people who cut in line or take up two parking spaces because they think their expensive car deserves more space than mine or cuss at me…okay, so maybe it’s not such a small thing.

Anyway, it should be a small thing to overlook the minor infractions of other people, but it’s even harder to forgive the intentional attacks of others.  (I would start a list here, too, but I fear what I might reveal about myself!)  So how did Jesus do it?  How did he forgive such an intentional, brutal attack?  Leave it to Jesus to do the impossible…

Here is what I can’t get past about Jesus’ prayer.  He told God that the killers didn’t know what they are doing.   They most certainly did!   How do you accidentally crucify someone?  Even if you were in some kind of trance, the cries of agony would have to bring you out of it, wouldn’t they?  Jesus knew this, so what did he really mean? Maybe he was referring to the fact that they didn’t know who He was, didn’t know that He was God’s Son.  If that’s it, they were about to find out, weren’t they? I must admit that it gives me some degree of satisfaction to imagine their shame and horror when the sky turned black and they realized what they had done.   

And this is where my reverie ends.  This is where the story hits too close to home.   After all, isn’t the Jesus they killed the same one that I grieve each and every time I sin?  Is it not His death that I take lightly every time I knowingly choose to ignore the warnings and commands of the Holy Spirit in my heart?  Much as I hate to admit it, I am no better than Jesus’ killers in and of myself. Much to my shame and horror, I find that I am just as deserving of God’s wrath as they.

And yet, because of what Jesus did, I am forgiven.  Because of what Jesus did, God calls me His child.  Now that I think about it, maybe those who do me wrong, intentionally or otherwise, just aren’t aware of Whose I am.  Knowing what God says He will do to those who mess with His kids, I actually feel sorry for them.  I wouldn’t wish that kind of judgment on someone else after having been spared myself.  How could I? Hah! Listen to me. Who would have thought that I could learn to have mercy on my enemies?  Leave it to Jesus to do the impossible…

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