To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you.
This C.S. Lewis quote is beautiful and true, but so very difficult to put into practice, isn’t it? Forgiveness is at the heart of Christianity, and Jesus Himself provides the best example for us. As we enter into Holy Week, it’s appropriate to take some time to look at the words of Jesus from the cross, so I’ve updated some blog posts I wrote a number of years ago when we did the seven words from the cross for our Lenten series. Fittingly, Jesus’ first words from the cross are ones of forgiveness.
Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.Continue reading “Forgiving the Unforgivable”
Whether you put yours up the day after Thanksgiving or wait until Christmas Eve, the Christmas tree is one of the most ubiquitous symbols of Christmas. Nearly every household in America has at least one tree. We see them in yards, stores, schools, businesses, and town squares. There are tree lighting ceremonies in many towns. One might say that Christmas woudn’t be Christmas without the tree. And in a very real sense, that’s entirely true.
I love Lenten hymns. Of all the church seasons, something strikes me about the penitential season of Lent. The hymns are poignant and the melodies are often beautiful. But sometimes it’s easy to sing through the words without really thinking about the meaning. So with Holy Week upon us, let’s take a look at one such example.
I’m glad I wasn’t there when Jesus was crucified. Whether I would have believed in Him or not, His cry to God is absolutely heart-wrenching. I can’t even make it through the scene in Saving Private Ryan where the dying soldier is blubbering for his mother. It breaks my heart. How much more so does Jesus’ cry pierce your soul, when He cries, “’Eli, Eli, lema sabachtani?’ that is, ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’” (Matthew 27:46) Jesus is crying out to His heavenly Father, asking why He has abandoned Him. Jesus quoted this directly from Psalm 22, which is the plainest prophecy of Jesus’ suffering and death in the entire Bible. Even in this poignant appeal, Jesus is quoting and fulfilling Scripture.