Forgiveness doesn’t come naturally. Short term, what is your response when a driver cuts you off in traffic? Is your gut reaction, your unconsidered response, “I forgive you”? Or do you mutter something like, “Idiot, who taught you to drive?” And what about long term? Do you ever find yourself savoring an offense against you, twisting it around in your memory like a lemon drop in your mouth, wringing every last bit of sour/sweet feeling out of it? In utter contrast is Jesus’ first word from the cross, spoken as the soldiers nailed him to the means of execution. Yes, his prayer, “Father, forgive them,” summons you to forgive. But, even more important, in uttering it, he becomes the Lamb led silently to the slaughter.
(Prepared for a Good Friday message)