As you know, God is preparing my heart for a great Resurrection celebration on what some call Easter Sunday. The celebration is not just that I am able to shout Hallelujah on that Lord’s Day but it is also the takeaways.
You know, the Lord pours His Word into us [me] day after day of His Great, Loving Sacrifice and the question that must be answered, now what? What am I do with all these wonderful truths? What is the application for my life that will increase my relationship with Him and cause me to be a greater display of His glory? As I look at the sayings of Jesus on the cross, the above verse is the first one and I immediately see one takeaway. It says, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do (Luke 23:33).
Now, I know many of you already believe that this post will be about forgiveness. We will get to that but in actuality, this post is about “Father.” Or perhaps continuing to see the Father as my Father in the tough times of suffering. This verse allows us to know that Jesus was able to do this, Jesus is still hold to His relationship as He calls to His “Father.”
You know, how we are, if we are not careful our suffering can cause us to walk in a distant relationship. No, we don’t lose our salvation but if not careful we doubt, sulk, and sometimes angry. No doubt, someone reading this has turned their backs on God because they do not like the suffering life has brought perhaps through death, illness, relationships, finances, etc. Somehow, we believe the lie satan plants that life will be easy for Christians. He then comes back around and accuses God and sows disbelief and anger in our minds and heats in the hard spots.
Let’s face it, the suffering caused by utter wickedness in this world will cause a person to shake their heads in unbelief. Our spirits become wounded as we see weak Christians and our leaders choose transgression and sin without repentance. To be honest, there are times that we look for justice but we see none and become discouraged.
The enemy swoops in with questions that root all the way back to the garden. Did God really say and if He did what kind of God would say or allow that to happen. Are you sure you want Him for your God?
Right here in this verse, we find our answer and response to those who would dare to ask us such questions when we are suffering in our personal lives and as we the events of the world take place. What kind of God? The same One Who allowed His Holy, Perfect, Sinless Son to suffer, to be falsely accused and brutally beat beyond recognition, scourged, spit upon, endure false trials, and nailed to a cross. The Son who did not receive justice but our [my] sins on His back.
Son of Man and Son of God, are you sure you want Him? The answer is a resounding Yes! My heart’s desire is for the One who despite all the rebellion and wickedness of man kept relationship with the Father for my good. He did it…for the world, He did it for me. Even as the flesh tore on His back, the Son did not get mad at the Father, nor did He no longer desire fellowship. Rather, He is calling to Him and no doubt taking comfort and drawing strength in knowing the Father is with Him. The son cries out, “Father’ and the cry was not even for Himself. It was for us, that we would have forgiveness and relationship. My, my, my…Selah!
Once again, I am reminded that life comes with some “stuff” – suffering, disappointment, pain, sorrow, sickness, death and wickedness – remembering how Jesus responded to the betrayal, suffering, brutality, and wickedness by clinging to and calling on the Father will help me.
The enemy and even our flesh rises to steal our faith. May we follow the example of Jesus and instead of running away, turning our backs, failing to pray, ceasing communion, fellowship, and devotion…may we call to our Father and seek the true and living God all the more.
May we find comfort and strength in His promise to never leave nor forsake us. He is God and all His ways are perfect.