Luke 23:34 Ultimate Love

Cross On A Hill.jpg

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. 

Advertisements

Matthew 5:38-39 Forget Revenge

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also.” Matthew 5:38-39

Jesus was giving some short teaching on various topics. One of them was looking at a tradition of men to get eye for eye and tooth for tooth. This is revenge. He tells them to not resist the person, but offer the other cheek as well.

Getting revenge is something many people like to do, although many people do not think it is an acceptable thing to get revenge. The term of revenge is often thought of as too harsh to say, even though it is really what people are doing. They want the person to pay for the crime or wrong that was done, not necessarily get revenge. Yet, revenge is what is actually happening.

The method of getting revenge is very wide range. Some strike back in the exact same way, as in eye for eye. Others will bad-mouth the person. Or find some other way to get at the person without directly touching them. Divorce, firing, and shunning are all ways of getting back at a person.

The way of Jesus runs against the traditions of man. He works on the principle of love. When Jesus was persecuted and put on the cross, He had every reason and right in the world to strike back and kill every person on the earth.

Yet, He did not strike at all. In fact, He prayed that God would forgive them because they didn’t really know what they were doing. It was the ultimate act of love, not revenge.

People will harm you, both on purpose and on accident. The way you react will show your commitment to Jesus. Jesus came to show love and told you to do the same.

When a person harms you, it the perfect time to show God’s love to them. Don’t strike back. Do not get angry with them.

As it occurs, give it to God. Seek His strength and love to love that person and not get revenge. He understands what is happening, Jesus has been there.

When you show love to a person who harms you, it may be that love that wins that person to Jesus.

Who do you need to love to today?

I pray today that God will help you love those who harm you; that God will give you peace in the process of being persecuted; that God’s love will fill your life; and that many will come to know Jesus because of you.