From Pastor Gary...
Jesus began the week riding into Jerusalem with the crowd shouting “Hosanna to the Son of David; Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the Highest!”! At the end of the week they were shouting “Crucify Him!” Jesus did go to the cross. He went according to His Father’s will. He went for our salvation. As Jesus hung there dying, he spoke words for us to hear and remember. This week let us consider Christ’s words from the cross.
Father forgive them, for they know not what they do. (Luke 23: 34)
Christ’s first words from the cross were words of forgiveness. Consider what he had just endured. He was rejected by his own people, mocked, severely beaten, and nailed to a cross. What is on his mind? Forgiveness. Forgiveness for those nailed him to the cross. Forgiveness for all of mankind. Chris’s love for us brought him to the cross that day. Our sin nailed him to it. The prophet Isaiah wrote, “But he was wounded for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought peace, and with his stripes we are healed.”
We who, by faith, trust in Christ’s sacrifice receive God’s forgiveness. God forgives, and he calls us to put our faith into action by forgiving others. Jesus was asked, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus answered, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy times seven.” In other words, there is no limit. When we forgive others, we share the love and mercy of Christ, and display the power of God working through us.
Gospel verse for today:
And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. (Matthew 6:12)