At the foot of the cross Jesus hung beaten beyond recognition, using every bit of energy and strength to draw his breath we get a glimpse into the depth of his breaking yet boundless heart. As he looks down from the cross he can see many people groups before him, he can hear the statements of mockery and hatred being slurred at him, he can hear the tones of anger, and he can see the soldiers laughing in scorn at yet another valueless Jew.
I can only imagine the pain Jesus must have experienced seeing and hearing the words about him. I sometimes say words inflict deeper physical pain. Jesus was experiencing both yet in the most painful moments of his life he draws in a deep breath and speaks to the Father knowing the last words he can speak would be words that would set many free. Jesus had every opportunity and right to give in to the hurt and pain; he could have allowed bitterness and hatred to enter his heart because he was innocent. He could have called angels to release him from the pain and shame and show the world who he was. But the love of our Savior for us kept him there.
Luke records this statement, “Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” (Luke 23:34 NIV)
We often remember the cross only around the Easter season, and we fail to see how important it is that we remember the cross daily. Every day we must remind ourselves that we too were mockers and scorners of the work of Jesus Christ, we too were in darkness, and walking around blind thinking we knew what was best for us. We were not very different from the mockers at the foot of the cross with the rebellious lifestyles we lived before we met Jesus. The power of the cross to offer forgiveness when we are so undeserving of it cuts to the core of my heart every single time. The cross reminds me that just as I have been so freely forgiven, I can now with the strength of Jesus offer this very same forgiveness to others. My friends we cannot afford to go a day without visiting this place I call the “foot of the cross” because it is here his forgiveness flows freely to all who comes.
Desire: Lord, help me grasp the forgiveness you offer me so I may also offer the same to others.