Read Luke 23:34.
Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”
Even as the nails were being driven into his hands and feet, Jesus was saying these words. With every blow of the hammer pounding into his fists.
Were the Roman soldiers sorry? Did the Pharisees express any remorse? Did they offer an apology?
Yet, Jesus offers forgiveness. Unilateral forgiveness or one-sided forgiveness. He didn’t need them to be sorry or ask for forgiveness.
He showed us what it means to give up your rights. Even your right for retaliation.
In doing so, he dies free from resentment. He said the words aloud to show us what it means to release people from a hold of anger and, in turn, release ourselves from the pressure cooker of bitterness.
Bringing It Home
Whom do I need to release in forgiveness just as Christ has forgiven me? Am I willing to let go of my right to retaliation? Am I trusting God to vindicate me and my cause?
Father God, I don’t deserve the forgiveness that you offer so freely through your Son. I pray that you will help me give up my right of being right, and my right to retaliation. Help me know that when I release people in forgiveness, I am, in fact, releasing myself to live a fuller, freer life. Amen.