[No More Nails]
In Luke 23:34, Jesus speaks some of the most prolific words. He is hanging on the cross, beaten and dying, and in the midst, he calls out to God. A cry on our behalf.
“Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do”.
Even when face to face with intentional disbelief and incredible lack of faith – even in the middle of hanging on the cross for the sins and mistakes of the world – he asks that we are forgiven.
It’s hard to comprehend the incredible love Jesus has for us. It’s not even something our minds are completely capable of understanding. Loving someone so much, that – after they mocked and tortured you – you’d not only die for them, but ask for their forgiveness in the process? That’s too much love for human brains to make sense of.
Lucky for us, we have a Jesus who knew that love.
Who lived that love.
Who was that love.
Unfortunately, Jesus probably prays a different prayer for us today. Instead of asking God to “forgive them, for they know not what they do”, Jesus has to ask instead for Him to “forgive them, even though they know exactly what they do”.
Every minute of everyday, we make choices. And with each choice, we have a chance to do something to the glory of God. But, we live in a broken world, with broken spirits. The enemy has taken hold. We sin over and over again, even though we know better. Even though our hearts were made for better.
But this is where things get really, really good.
We are blessed with the gift of grace, with a second chance. And, God not only allows a comeback story…He craves one.
Despite our mistakes and our sins and our intentional wrongs, we are forgiven. Every. Single. Time.
The enemy will try to convince us otherwise. He will try to define us by one event – by one sin, by one action, by one thought, by one situation. The enemy will try to trick us into believing that we are not truly forgiven. He is really good at making us think we are just on a little too far from Jesus, and that surely we can’t be worthy of forgiveness.
But, like everything else, the enemy is wrong here.
The truth is, we aren’t worthy, but we are forgiven.
Even now, when we know the weight of the choices and still we make them anyway, we are forgiven. That’s what happened when Jesus took His last breath for us. The victim became the victor and made us new. So, we get to let God decide our worth. We get to let Him have the last say. Because what held us doesn’t hold us anymore.
It’s a beautiful thing when we really start to allow ourselves to get it. When we close our eyes and let the fullness of His forgiveness sink in. He continues to offer us grace and forgiveness every day, every minute, every time we blink our eyes, every time our hearts beat.
Jesus calls us to do the same for others. That means forgiving without hesitancy, without rules, without contingencies, without keeping score.
Jesus gave His life for us, and begged for our forgiveness in the process. Despite our sins, He calls us. He loves us. He forgives us. He chooses us. How blessed we are.
He gives us grace on grace and forgiveness on forgiveness. Over and over again. Day in and day out. Year after year. Forever.
And with this forgiveness, we are no longer slaves. We are free, and how wonderful it is.