Prayer: Holy God we bow down and worship You this day. Forgive us of all our sins. Send Your Holy Spirit to comfort us yet again in the knowledge that in You we are forgiven. In Your Son’s name we pray. Amen.
Luke 23: 32 – 38
Who else is on the roadway with Jesus as he comes to the Cross? The two criminals They come to a place called The Skull and there they are crucified with Jesus. What does Jesus do? Jesus remembers the two criminals and says, “Father forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23: 34 NRSV Nelson, 1989).
At the placed called The Skull (Golgotha) are the Executioners. At the feet of the crosses the Executioners cast lots to divide the clothing of Jesus and all clothing belonging to the other criminals. As Executioners, they were granted whatever clothing the criminals had on their bodies at the crucifixion.
The people in the crowd watching the crucifixions. Why were they at The Skull? Where they related to the criminals? The crowd watched and said nothing.
The rulers were there too. They were still scoffing at Jesus and yelling at him to save himself if he truly was the chosen of God.
The soldiers continue to mock Jesus. They offer Jesus vinegar and ask him if he is King of the Jews why he does not save himself.
And in the midst of people standing and watching, of rulers and soldiers scoffing there is Jesus hanging on the cross. Jesus who asks for forgiveness.
Jesus is our example. As his life is extinguished, he forgives others. What an example we should follow. Forgiveness is all about opening ourselves up to the love of God. In our Church’s past, forgiveness was so important that Presbytery meetings would be largely a time of prayer and seeking forgiveness and a bit of Church business. (And no, I am not equating Presbytery meetings to the crucifixion J) What is being emphasized is the importance of forgiveness.
Prayer: Great God, we come before You today asking for Your forgiveness in the things we have left undone or unsaid. We ask You for Your forgiveness in the hurt our words have been to people that we have not realized we have hurt. We ask for Your forgiveness. We know that You have already forgiven us and have granted us Your peace and Your love. Amen.