SUPERHUMAN FORGIVENESS: THE CROSS


STANDING STRONG THROUGH THE STORM

SUPERHUMAN FORGIVENESS: THE CROSS
=================================
Jesus said, “Father, forgive them,
for they do not know what they are doing.”
Luke 23:34

Today’s
devotional again comes from a Chinese house church pastor who was
arrested
and held for three weeks just prior to this talk. He says his
experience was
going with Christ to the Garden and to the Cross. Today he
explains The
Cross:

This is what amazed me the most. Whenever I was beaten up (and
that was quite
often during those three weeks), I would first feel searing
pain, and then
another feeling would flood in, almost wiping the pain away.
Do you know what
that feeling was? Pity. Pity for the man who was beating
me.

I kept seeing my interrogator as a man gone wrong. I felt sorry for
his
mother, who would be so ashamed of him. I wondered what kind of father he must
have had, to turn him into such a monster. I felt sad to be in the
presence of
one of God’s creatures that could treat another human so badly
with so little
concern.

Then I would get amazed at myself. Through the
pain I would think, “I should
be angry, but I’m not, all I want is for this
man to be saved.” I had three
ribs and a wrist broken, two teeth knocked out,
my kidneys were
malfunctioning, and yet all I could wish for was for the man
beating me to
find Christ and forgiveness.

Now I agree with that young
sister. It sounds very strange. It doesn’t even
ring true. It’s more human to
be angry, or to be afraid. But I can only say
this was not myself making me
feel that way, but Christ within me. It was
superhuman. It was Divine. And to
this day, it serves as the greatest
assurance I have that I am
saved.

Again, this is also the way of Christ. In Luke 23:34, He says from
the Cross
itself, in the midst of excruciating pain, “Father forgive them,
for they do
not know what they are doing.” I tell you, it gives you such a
thrill to know
that you feel as Christ felt. That’s why suffering is counted
such a joy, such
a privilege. It confirms to the sufferers that they are
Christ’s, and He lives
in them. We don’t have to trust a word that this is
so. We feel it in our very
breastbones.

RESPONSE: Today I will forgive
those who are causing me grief as Jesus would
and did on the
cross.

PRAYER: God, fill me with Your superhuman forgiveness so that I
may walk today
as Jesus did in forgiving those harming Him. Help me also feel
pity and
compassion for those who so easily treat others badly.

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