Thursday, January 28, 2021
As He Forgave Us
“Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others” (Colossians 3:13 NLT).
Alexander Pope wrote in the 18th century, “To err is human; to forgive, divine.”
If you want to be like Jesus, then forgive.
Jesus modeled this so beautifully for us when He hung on the cross of Calvary. They had ripped open His back with a Roman whip, pressed a crown of thorns around His head, and pounded spikes through His hands and feet.
But the first words He spoke from the cross were these: “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34 NLT). Those words were so powerful in their effect that one of the criminals that was crucified next to Him believed on the very spot.
Matthew’s gospel tells us that initially both criminals joined in the chorus of mockery. Some of those at the foot of the cross that day were saying, “Well then, if you are the Son of God, save yourself and come down from the cross!” (Matthew 27:40 NLT)
But when Jesus asked the Father to forgive them, one of those thieves came to his senses and said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your Kingdom” (Luke 23:42 NLT).
Jesus told him, “I assure you, today you will be with me in paradise” (verse 43 NLT).
Young Stephen, the first martyr of the early church, emulated his Lord’s example. As the furious Jewish leaders put him to death for his bold proclamation of the gospel, Stephen cried out, “Lord, don’t charge them with this sin!” (Acts 7:60 NLT).
And that incredible testimony ultimately helped bring about the conversion of the notorious Saul of Tarsus, later known as the apostle Paul.
You are never more like God than when you forgive.
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