As I was reading the scriptures this Easter I noticed that Jesus did not act as I thought a "normal" human would (no surprise in and of itself). I looked deeper into each passage and I saw things that stirred my thoughts and challenged my perceptions. I saw a Jesus who knew that He had a slanderer (a devil) in His midst, yet still treated him well. I saw a Jesus who even in the midst of his persecution and trial, was still forgiving. He said, "Father forgive them" in the heart of His persecution. Jesus did not get overly caught up in the emotion of what was happening to Him, but felt compassion for those who were despising and rejecting Him. I saw a Jesus who was betrayed by all His closes friends, but did not think twice about forgiving and accepting them. You might think, "Of course Jesus forgave those who betrayed Him". Would we have acted in this manner? If you have ever had a close friend or relative that betrayed you, then you will know that forgiveness is harder than a concept. Furthermore, Jesus was not just betrayed by one person, but many. They were deep betrayals by close friends. However, Jesus did not seem betrayed at all. He had already forgiven them! The wonders of God's grace!
Have you ever had a hard time forgiving someone? Have you held on to a hurt for the purpose of using it later against them? These might be "normal" human responses but they are not in line with the examples that Jesus gave us. How can we be instruments of God's truth while still being full of His grace and mercy?
Copyright 2012 Marshall