Summary: A sermonette on Judgement and forgiveness, what should we do? It pains us to forgive, it pains us not too, much easier to judge someone than forgive them?
In the book of Luke Chapter 23:34-46 New International Version (NIV)
We read about what could possibly three cases of forgiveness:
34 Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”[a] And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.
35 The people stood watching, and the rulers even sneered at him. They said, “He saved others; let him save himself if he is God’s Messiah, the Chosen One.”
36 The soldiers also came up and mocked him. They offered him wine vinegar 37 and said, “If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself.
38 There was a written notice above him, which read: THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.
39 One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!”
40 But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? 41 We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.”
42 Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.[b]”
43 Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”
There is something that is important about this passage, Jesus forgives twice or could it be even three times?
1) He asks his Father, our Father in heaven to forgive those crucifying him. No small thing.
2) Then he forgives the criminal, he man who by his own admission says he is being punished justly, the man who somehow well before the priests, the disciples, the scholars, realised that Jesus Kingdom was going to come through Jesus death. Jesus told this man, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.” This man who had never attended junior soldiers, been baptised, taken communion, possibly never even prayed or paid taxes…in paradise that day. I hazard a guess that Jesus would even have forgiven the man who had been mocking him if had realised and asked for forgiveness. No small thing.
As humans we are so quick to Judge, which is why the New Testament warns us about judging others, for “with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye?” (Matthew 7:2-4)
Judgement / forgiveness we have a choice. What did Jesus do? WDJD?