Jesus chose His words carefully.
When He hung on the cross, suffering through a horrific punishment He did nothing to deserve, He didn't waste His final breaths. He spoke words that echo throughout eternity, forever shaping the way we view and receive His sacrifice.
Luke 23:34 records the first of the seven final sayings of Jesus on the cross: "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing."
Just five days earlier, on what many now call Palm Sunday, people crowded the streets of Jerusalem, welcoming Jesus to the cries of, "Hosanna! Hosanna in the highest!"
Days later, He looked down on another crowd at the foot of His cross harshly shouting, "Crucify him!"
His response to their outcry was the opposite of what many of us might have done. Jesus asked God to have mercy. "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing." His words reached far beyond the bloodthirsty people at His feet to us, today.
While it was our sin that ultimately subjected Jesus' life to the relentless beating, mocking, and torture of the cross, it was the forgiveness Jesus issued in the midst of His torment that has the power to forever transform our lives.
His forgiveness, if you receive it, extends beyond your deepest hurts, regrets, and failures.
To receive this great gift, we first have to see exactly how far His forgiveness reaches.
All of us have sinned and fallen short of living a perfect life. But we have the hope of forgiveness. Forgiveness that breaks the power of those sins. No matter who you are, where you have been, or what you have done, Jesus forgives you. Unconditionally.
Jesus, give me the perspective today to see the full extent of your forgiveness. Forgive me for the times that I have unknowingly, and knowingly, sinned against you. I pray the same forgiveness I receive from you may overflow into the forgiveness I extend to others. In Jesus' name, Amen.
The full extent of Jesus' forgiveness extends beyond your greatest sins, and allows you to extend it beyond the greatest sins others have committed against you. What is one offense you have yet to forgive someone for? Take the opportunity today to reach out to that person to offer forgiveness. For more resources, visit www.SevenMileMiracle.com.