Recently I was abruptly faced with someone from my past who I had not seen for over five years who I still harboured unforgiveness towards. I had not thought about him for most of those five years. But in seeing him I was thrown into a state of flux, of anger at what he had done and feelings of unforgiveness boiled up. I knew I had to lay it down and quickly so it didn’t have time to settle in my spirit.
I was driving back to Christchurch shortly after seeing this person and I thought of what Jesus said on the cross, “Forgive them for they don’t know what they do”. Like Jesus’s accusers and killers some people in our lives don’t know what they are doing. Perhaps they don’t know what the repercussions of their actions will be or they aren’t in control of themselves (e.g. because of drugs or mental illness) or they don’t realise what the impact of their choice will have.
On the cross Jesus shows us how to forgive those who afflict us. Can you? Will you? Have you?