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There was once a man who was born in a little town back east. He grew up and took on the family business. The only earthly father he had ever known died sometime in his teen years and as the oldest son he took on the responsibility of caring for his mother.

He had a good reputation among all the people in his hometown. He was active in church and he would help anybody with any need they had. Oh, he was a good man and people loved him… But some people were jealous of his popularity and they were also distrustful of his theology.

Listen to the words of this man, which he spoke through his tears… through the pain of the beating that they gave him… listen to the words of our bleeding Savior which he spoke concerning those who mocked and persecuted him from the cross which they nailed him to…

Luke 23:34 (NRSV) says, “Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.”

Jesus, much more than any of us, would have been fully justified in his anger toward those who hurt him. He was the Son of God… He had come so that we might have life and have it more abundantly… He had come to rescue us. He was on a mission of redemptive love from the Father… and those who needed him most rejected him the most fully…

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