Jesus said, “Father forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” Luke 23:34
As Jesus was being crucified, dying on the cross people were mocking Him and not believing in Him. This was occurring after a long night of extreme torture. Even as this was happening Jesus still asked the Father to forgive them.
People get hurt by other people on a regular basis. Most people will strike back or attempt to strike back at those who strike them. They want to get full vengeance for the wrong that was done to them.
The striking back takes different forms. Some will physically strike back and immediately. Others will strike family or friends of the person. Some will strike with just words rather than get physical. Many will call authorities and lawyers to strike back. Some will slander the person, causing another type of strike.
One common theme runs through all these methods of striking back and it is self vengeance against another person.
Jesus did not do any of these things while He was on the cross. He had never done anything illegal or wrong to anyone at anytime. He was perfectly innocent before men and God, yet was tried and sentenced to death on a cross.
As He hung there He was willing to forgive the people, because He knew that they really did not know what they were doing was wrong. He showed ultimate love for the people.
Anyone who hurts another person really does not know what they are doing is wrong. They think that they are doing the right thing. Satan has deceived them into doing the wrong thing.
You may never have to go through actual physical violence, but you will have a time where you will be hurt by someone. Someone may lie about you, or curse you, or cut you down in some way. Regardless of how you are hurt, it will hurt.
You will have a choice to make. Either you strike back in some way. Or you choose to love the person and forgive them…showing ultimate love as Jesus did.
Show the person God’s love and forgiveness and they may repent of what they did and serve God. They may choose the path of love…if they have been shown it and given that opportunity.
What is your choice: vengeance as the world or love as Jesus?
I pray today that you will know God’s love for you; that you will share His love for others; that you will not seek vengeance, but forgiveness; and that you will know what God has forgiven you of.