Monday, February 22, 2010

The Suffering Of Christ

When Jesus spoke, leppers were healed, Lazarus was raised from the dead. He had power in His voice. But no words were greater than those spoken as he hung from the cross. Father, forgive them. And the great thing is, God will forgive us, if we submit to Him. Submitting is not an easy word. But what Christ did for us was not easy either.

Luke 23:33-34
When they came to the place called the Skull, there they crucified him, along with the criminals—one on his right, the other on his left. Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing." And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.

Forgiveness is an expression of prayer.
At Calvary, Jesus began to pray to His Father. Calvary was not a place of prayer. It was a place of pain and suffering. A place of agony. But Jesus did not pray for Himself, or for His agony to be released. He prayed for you. He prayed for me. He did not think of Himself.

Forgiveness is an expression of pardon.
When man had done his worst, Jesus was at His best. He did nor pray for the judgement of those who had tortured Him, but for their forgiveness. He was repeatedly abused by them, and He repeatedly prayed for them. We have our feelings hurt once or twice, and never speak to the offender again. We are not to forgive 3 times, as was the Jewish rule, but 70 x 7. Long after we have lost count.

Forgiveness is an expression of peace.
The only way to get rid of the guilt of our sins, the only way to get rid of the shame: The only way to heaven, the only way to have our sins blotted out by His blood, is to receive and accept what He did for us.

Jesus was sinless. Perfect. Yet, He needed to pray. What about me and you? Sinful: thoughtless, not always forgiving, not always helpful. How much more do we need to pray? Our kness should be calloussed.

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