Forgive! Jesus Did
Right in the middle of dying, in the midst of the most intense pain from torture that the Romans had figured out they could make last a few hours, Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” (Luke 23:34)
He was talking about the people in front of Him who had just crucified Him, but we all know that it was God's plan for evil people to do that to Jesus so that God could forgive all of us of our sin through His bloody sacrifice, so we all had some skin in the game even though we wouldn't be alive for another 2000 years.
But the point of today's encouragement is that if Jesus could forgive while looking at the whites of the eyes of the men who nailed Him to the cross, and the faces of the quote 'religious' people who made sure He was going to be dead and out of their prideful hair, why is it so hard for us to forgive? Why do we find it difficult to forgive the little things that irritate us and make our lives difficult?
In our efforts to live like Jesus, this is one thing we MUST do, it's not a suggestion. "For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins." (Matt 6:14-15) But let us grow our faith to where it's not a begrudging thing we must do, but something we are willing to do because we love people. That's the way Jesus did it!