Friday, April 19, 2019

R.E.A.L. Women Devotional: Good Friday Thoughts

"Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.” And the soldiers gambled for his clothes by throwing dice." Luke 23:34

Today we remember "the cross" and what it represents, forgiveness and redemption for all mankind. As I reflect on this past year on my journey of not only forgiving people and things throughout my life, but understanding the power in forgiveness. So many of us live cherishing our hurts and wounds that were inflicted on us, that often go all the way back to our childhood. Jesus physically endured being beaten and bruised to represent for ALL of us that we are forgiven of the hurts we have done against God. One of those hurts being the the hurt within the Church, also known as the Body of Christ. We who call ourselves Believers and followers of Christ hurt each other over and over, which is the same as when Jesus was beaten repeatedly. If Jesus is sitting at the right hand of the Father making intercession for us (Romans 8:34), I wonder how often he still says, "Father forgive them, for they don't know what they are doing."

As I reflect on this verse today, I am challenged in my own soul who have I not forgiven that keeps Jesus on the cross, so to speak. It breaks my heart when I see brothers and sisters "in Christ" treat each other disrespectfully. I find it interesting that in this same verse, it says "and the soldiers gambled for his clothes by throwing dice." That is very disrespectful and cold. Yet to some degree when we don't forgive that is how we treat what Jesus did for us at that day.

In the message, Eugene Peterson says that Jesus came and put on "Man clothes." They were gambling for his clothes. This also causes me to think about how we treat our salvation. Salvation is not by chance, it's by choosing. Many people call themselves Christians, but have not actually chosen Him to be their savior. They "gamble" at their salvation hoping they are saved and will make it to Heaven. We don't have to throw dice hoping for the right call for our salvation. All we have to do is "choose" Jesus, ask Him to forgive us and then in return, we forgive others. When we don't forgive others, it mocks what Jesus did for us on the cross. 

Today as you think about the cross and what it means to you. I would first ask you to think about whether you have "gambled" for your salvation or if you have truly chosen Jesus and salvation. Secondly, think about what Jesus has forgiven you for and then examine your heart and see where you have allowed unforgiveness to reign in the place where the Holy Spirit dwells. I pray this weekend as we celebrate The Resurrection of Jesus, that as we, The Body of Christ, forgive and bless one another and that the power of the Holy Spirit that rose Christ from the dead (Romans 8:11) will raise up the Body of Christ with power, Truth, wholeness and freedom. AMEN.

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