Forgive | Devotion #2: Know Not What They Do
Shawna Johnson | Communication Director
Jesus was hanging on the cross. He was bloody, bruised, and beaten. They spat on and mocked Him. The crowd was chanting for His death, harassing Him incessantly.
It is humbling to take a moment and recognize this reality. This seems like as great a time as ever to give thanks to our Lord, the One who endured this pain for us; the One who took the weight of our sin.
Jesus, while still hanging on the cross, entering His final moments of life on Earth, chooses to forgive the very people shouting for His death. Despite the abuse, spitting, and harassment, Jesus’ response to it all was, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34).
This is forgiveness I cannot comprehend. As I sit and try to wrap my head around this concept, all I can think of is how difficult it is for me sometimes to forgive even the pettiest of things. Yet, Jesus forgives them for crucifying Him!
A story that has helped me walk the road of forgiveness is from the live action movie “Cinderella.” If you do not know the story of Cinderella (first of all, come out from under your rock! Just kidding), it is about a girl whose father dies, and she is made to live with her evil stepmother and cruel stepsisters. As she is out, she meets a gentleman, and they share a brief introduction about their lives. When asked, “How do they treat you?” Cinderella’s response was, “They treat me as well as they’re able.”
This quote has been incredibly powerful in my life. It brought me back to Jesus’ response, “They know not what they do.” If we live a life of constant forgiveness, putting our ego and pride aside, praying for those who wrong us, and considering the point that they “treat us as well as they’re able,” our lives could look dramatically different.
Jesus would love nothing more than to have a relationship with each person in the crowd. He sees their sinfulness and yet still shows grace, mercy, and forgiveness toward them. Imagine if we lived that way. We need to choose to live that way. Who do you need to forgive?
Lord, help us love like You. Help us have grace and mercy like You. Help us live for You. Help us forgive like You. Because of Jesus, and in His name only. Amen.