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Luke 23:26–34 ‘Father, forgive them…’ (v34)

Even as He was being crucified, Jesus was forgiving His enemies. He had taught about the importance of forgiveness throughout His ministry; that He had power to forgive sins (Matt. 9:6) but also that we need to forgive each other (Matt. 6:14).

He came to restore relationship between God and humankind. God was forgiving us in Christ, reconciling us to Him (2 Cor. 5:18). Forgiveness is the underlying element in the whole gospel message.

But if we are honest, and examine ourselves, we can often find little hurts – or large ones – that are still causing us enormous pain, because they are issues we struggle to forgive.


It could be that someone hurt us many years ago, but we are still holding on to that pain; we even find ourselves rehearsing it and nursing it.

We can recount in detail what that person said or did to us that we have simply be unable to let go of.

Unforgiveness causes an ongoing rift between God and ourselves. In Jesus, God has forgiven us for all we have said and done to offend Him and others; we need to view forgiving those who have hurt us in this light.

From this perspective, things may seem different. Even in the case of gross wrongs towards us or those we love, holding unforgiveness doesn’t help.

Forgiving doesn’t let the other person off the hook; they are ultimately answerable to God, after all; but it lets us off the hook of bitterness.

Forgiving ourselves can also be difficult; but if Jesus has taken that burden, why do we try to carry it?


A Prayer To Make:
‘Father, Your Son forgave those who were killing Him. I want to be closer to You. Please help me to be willing to forgive those who have hurt me and those I love. Amen.’

An Action To Take:
Is there anyone you hold unforgiveness towards? A person, yourself – or even God? Bring it to Jesus now. If it helps, share with a trusted Christian leader or friend.

Scripture To Consider:
Gen. 33:1–20; Hos. 3:1–5; Matt. 6:9–15; Luke 5:17–26

Micha Jazz is Director of Resources at Waverley Abbey, UK.