Friday, November 05, 2010

"Father, forgive them." Luke 23:34

The dialogue that Friday morning was bitter. From the onlookers, "Come down from the cross if you are the Son of God!"

From the religious leaders, "He saved others but he can't save himself."

From the soldiers, "If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself."

Bitter words. Acidic with sarcasm. Hateful. Irreverent. Wasn't it enough that he was being crucified? Wasn't it enough that he was being shamed as a criminal? Were the nails insufficient? Was the crown of thorns too soft? Had the flogging been too short?

For some, apparently so.

The words thrown that day were meant to wound. And there is nothing more painful than words meant to hurt.

But I'm not telling you anything new. No doubt you've had your share of words that wound. You've felt the sting of a well-aimed gibe. Maybe you're still feeling it. Someone you love or respect slams you to the floor with a slur or slip of the tongue. Or maybe your wound is old. Though the arrow was extracted long ago, the arrowhead is still lodged...hidden under your skin.

If you have suffered or are suffering because of someone else's  words, you'll be glad to know that there is a balm for this laceration. Meditate on these words from l Peter 2:23.

When they hurled their insults at him, he
did not retaliate; when he suffered, he
made no threats. Instead, he entrusted
himself to him who judges justly.

Did you see what Jesus did not do? He did not retaliate. He did not bite back. 

Did you see what Jesus did do? He left the judging to God.

If ever a person deserved a shot at revenge, Jesus did.

Sometimes I wonder if we don't see Christ's love as much in the people he tolerated as in the pain he endured.

Amazing Grace.

(Adapted for length from my favorite Max Lucado book, No Wonder They Call Him The Savior)


Anonymous said...

Good Morning Clif, Thank you for sharing and for this important reminder. Blessings to you and Charlotte this weekend.

sarah said...

HI Cliff...sometimes I picutre Jesus on the cross...knowing who He really was...what He was really capable of doing....and knowing it it was me...I would have wanted to flash lightening down. Thanks for this....Have a great weekend..

Susy said...

Jesus is our model who we are to imitate and that scripture has helped me keep my mouth shut on many occasions. And when others revilings have wounded, I've looked to vs. 24. Blessings from Calif.

Ruth said...

Hi Cliff.. thank you for this post.a beautiful reminder to follow the One who walked before us...who we ought to follow and imitate.

Cindy Adkins said...

Hi Clif,
It is hard to fathom how people acted toward him...How totally heartless...But then, I also think that those are thoughts that some people even hold today...I don't think they were only from the people who witnessed it...I am sure there are people today who think, "If he was who he said he was, why didn't he just come off of the cross?"

I have a story about a book I am reading and I hope that you and Charlotte will read it--it is amazing! It's called One Simple Act...I know you will both love it! I wrote about it on my art blog at:

I hope you'll come see my little personal story about it!

Wishing you a wonderful weekend!!

Whidbey Woman said...

Wow. I really needed this. I have had a very difficult week at work, and have been feeling anxious about some very judgemental people I work with. Bless you for sharing!

Mevely317 said...

Once again, this message has "smack-dabbed" me at my center.
I've always been inclined to wear my heart on my sleeve; wishing to exact revenge -- were I not such a coward!
"He left the judging to God." Amazing Grace, indeed!

LivingSoAbundantly said...

You stepped on my toes, and I like that. Thank you for challenging us through your solid posts. God is good!

Ginger~~Enchanting Cottage said...

I can't even phantom all of the emotions on that day.I need to be more like Jesus when it comes to keeping quite when needed.
God Bless,

Karen said...

This is surely food for thought! Thank you, Clif, for sharing this.

Dianne said...

Oh, Clif, this is my favorite book of Lucado's. The chapter entitled "The Cry of Loneliness" is probably my most favorite piece of writing in the world other than the Bible.

Great word from God that we all need to hear. Thank you so much and thanks especially for the comment on my blog. Because I respect you so much, it was especially meaningful.


Saleslady371 said...

This kind of message always helps me with the injustices in life. Thank you.

Sherry said...

Loved you blog Cliff. It is only we as Christians behaving Christ-like that makes Jesus' death on the cross worth it. He did so much for us, it can hardly be repaid. Bless You Cliff for sharing this with us. Sherry

Renee said...

It is dificult at times to let go of our pain and face those who caused it with grace and love...almost impossible but for God living in us! Very thought provoking post here...I enjoy Max Lucado so much! God bless.

Virginia said...

Beautiful reminder to follow…
When I feel hurt by others, specially those I love I let the insults fly away,in the name of Jesus. This is a verses that helps me a lot.
Colossians 3:12-14
Since God chose you to be the people whom he loves; you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. You must make allowance for each other's faults and forgive the person who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. And the most important piece of clothing you must wear is love. Love is what binds us all together in perfect harmony.

Clif,May God keep using you & Charlotte greatly for His Honor and Glory!
God bless…

Donnie said...

That was a lovely post and so true.

Sandi@ Rose Chintz Cottage said...

Hi Clif,
Jesus is our example. Whenever we are hurt, fearful, or lonely, all we need to do is look to Him and remember what He did for us. He made a way for each of us to overcome evil with good. Thank you for your inspiring post.


Joan said...

A lot said here. The One who was justified to retaliate. The One without sin who did not condemn the adulterous woman. The One who could have called down a host angels... Instead He bore the punishment, the humility, the mocking, the scorn...all because of His love for us. Great post!


Janis@Open My Ears Lord said...

Thank you, Cliff, for these great words from the Lord. They are timely for me, as you read my post. I will dwell on them that they may impact my heart and spirit.
Thank you for the post and for visiting.

Vintagesouthernlife said...

I really needed this today. It so helps me accept injustices that I see and can not control. I must leave the judging to God!
Thanks for this reminder.
Have a blessed week, Annette

LivingforGod said...

We just read 1 Peter chapter 2 tonight (Sunday night) during our family Bible/prayer time. I enjoy reading Max Lucado books but I've never read No Wonder They Call Him The Savior yet. You mentioning it as your favorite Max Lucado book made me now want to read it :).

May we respond and react with Christ's love and grace!

Sue said...

Thanks for the reminder this morning Cliff,much needed for me today. I always enjoy Max Lucado's writings

Enjoyed your last post, so funny.

Angel @ Finding The Inspiring said...

Thank you for sharing this great truth about how to handle those "words that wound". And thank you for visiting my blog. I am a new follower now. God bless you!

Anita Johnson said...

I had to read this post twice so that I could let the lesson here soak in. Excellent. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Great reminder at a perfect timing. Thank you for sharing.