Colossians 3:13-14 says “Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which bind them all together in perfect unity.” God commands us to forgive others and love them, whether they deserve it or not, but that doesn’t sound very easy.
Be encouraged. Jesus set quite an example for us two thousand years ago. He died on the cross in our place so we could have forgiveness for our sins though we don’t deserve it. That’s an amazing story, but I decided to dig a little deeper. What I found was even more impressive.
Jesus’ death on the cross was a complete work of love. Why? He’d been betrayed by so many yet He forgave them anyway. I tried listing all the people who had been disloyal to Him and came up with quite a few.
His own disciples couldn’t keep watch with Him for even an hour, and He suffered alone. Finally God sent an angel to minister to Him because His disciples were no comfort at all. Judas, one of the disciples who’d walked closely with Jesus wronged Him by leading the chief priests, officers of the temple guard and the elders to capture Him. These were the same people who heard Him teach every day in the temple.
Then I would imagine the biggest blow of all was when His beloved Peter and trusted friend denied Him three times. At daybreak on that Friday, the council of religious leaders condemned Him. Though Pilate didn’t want to accuse Him, in the end he did. And to make things even worse, the Roman soldiers mocked and spit on Him.
Yet Jesus chose to make the greatest sacrifice of all. He forgave us and died a cruel death out of love. I’d say Easter is all about, first forgiveness and then love. What a challenge for His church these two thousand years later.