Lent Day 33–Victory through Forgiveness

We often think of the Cross as the place where our victory has been won.  Jesus’ Victory March is progressively revealed through His Seven Last Words, or statements from the Cross.

In Luke 23:34, “Jesus said, ‘Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.’ And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.”

Here are the first of Jesus’ Last Words—and interestingly, they’re about forgiveness. 
It’s also remarkable that of His Last Words, this is the only petition or request made of God the Father by His Son.
  • Not “Father, protect me.” 
  • Not “Father, take away my pain.” 
  • Not “Father, grant me peace.” 
  • Not “Father, reassure me of your love.”
  • Not “Father, help me understand your will.”
  • Not “Father, give me the strength to endure this.” 
  • Not wisdom, not healing, not helping, not any number of other beautiful personal requests. 
  • Definitely not “Father, make them pay!”

“Father, forgive them.”

Why might forgiveness be a necessary first battle of the ultimate victory?  For Jesus, forgiveness and the restored relationship with the Father formed the very essence of His mission. 

For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost (Luke 19:10). 

 This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins (Matthew 26:28).

If this was Jesus’ first Last Words, what does that say about the important role forgiveness plays in our lives?  What does it say about our fighting our forgiveness battle before we will ever realize true victory?

For many of us, our harboring unforgiveness toward God and others has become like a lead security blanket which simultaneously comforts us and weighs us down.  We carry the bitterness.  We carry the wounds.  We carry the hatred and the hurt.  We carry betrayals and insults.  We carry them all as baggage throughout our days because we’re afraid to let it all go. 

We know how we’ve been hurt and yet, Jesus’ petition for the Father to forgive us ought to give us the comfort we need to release it to Him.  Where God has forgiven it, shall we continue to cling to it?

Do you want to know the Victory of the Cross?  It all begins with forgiveness.

Categories Chapel Worship/News | Tags: | Posted on April 15, 2011

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