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“Father, Forgive them; for they know not what they do (Luke 23:42).” These words were spoken by our Lord Jesus Christ during the greatest injustice of all time.

A perfect man was crucified on the basis of false accusations with no evidence. He was beaten without mercy, endured hours of torture and treated in the most inhumane way ever. The Son of God had the power to unleash wrath beyond comprehension and deliver revenge to the entire Roman military. Instead, he chose mercy and forgiveness. His powerful act changed the world and can transform us as well. This important principle can have a powerful impact on our relationships with others.

The actions of Christ on the cross should guide us as recorded in Ephesian 4:32: “Be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” We encounter many reasons to be offended on an average day. People can be selfish and even cruel at times. With the disruption to our schedules and being locked down with our families, we can be even more irritable. With less church and more hardships, we may be struggling more than usual. If the truth were told, we may have even offended others a time or two. Since we are all human and capable of wrongdoing, this scripture can help keep us grounded.

How do we attempt to be Christlike in dealing with these offenses? It may be in remembering that God has forgiven us. We have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Rom 3:23). Our sin debt that has been forgiven by the Lord is much greater than the debt we experience from others. Not only have we needed forgiveness from Christ, but many times from others as well. Keeping the cross in mind should help us be more merciful with others. We all could be more loving and more like Jesus. The more we seek him, the more he can shine through us. These important principles of Christianity will strengthen us, our families and our communities.

Ralph and Elizabeth Pyszkowski, your brother and sister In Christ. All comments are welcomed at rpyszkow@gmail.com.