B. THE RESPONSE OF JESUS.
C. HERE ARE SOME LESSONS THAT WE CAN LEARN FROM JESUS' FIRST
SAYING FROM THE CROSS.
(1) FIRST, WE CAN LEARN THAT FORGIVENESS REACHES OUT TO THE
1. The people who had beat Jesus, mocked Him, and nailed Him to the cross did not
deserve forgiveness. But Jesus through His kindness offered it to them. The point is
that forgiveness reaches out to the undeserving.
Chris Carrier of Coral Gables, Florida, was abducted when he was 10 years old. His
kidnapper, angry with the boy's family, burned him with cigarettes, stabbed him numerous
times with an ice pick, then shot him in the head and left him to die in the Everglades.
Remarkably, the boy survived, though he lost sight in one eye. No one was ever arrested.
Recently, a man confessed to the crime. Carrier, now a youth minister, went to see him.
He found David McAllister, a 77-year-old ex-convict, frail and blind, living in a North
Miami Beach nursing home. Carrier began visiting often, reading to McAllister from the
Bible and praying with him. His ministry opened the door for McAllister to make a
profession of faith.
No arrest is forthcoming; after twenty-two years, the statute of limitations on the crime is
long past. In Christian Reader (Jan/Feb 98), Carrier says, "While many people can't
understand how I could forgive David McAllister, from my point of view I couldn't not
forgive him. If I'd chosen to hate him all these years, or spent my life looking for revenge,
then I wouldn't be the man I am today, the man my wife and children love, the man God has
helped me to be."
2. David McAllister didn’t deserve forgiveness. He beat and tortured a little, precious
child. However, Chris Carrier had the Christ like heart to forgive him.
3. Brethren, we must likewise forgive people who don’t deserve it.
4. We are to forgive others just as God forgives us.
& (Mark 11:25) "And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone,
forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.”
& (Ephesians 4:31-32) “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander,
along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving
each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”
5. Right now in your life, are you harboring any bitterness and anger against someone
who did you wrong? Do you wake up in the morning with hatred in your heart towards
someone? If you do, this morning is the perfect time to let go of your bitterness &
anger and forgive the person who has treated you badly.
6. But you may want to say, “But Keith, they don’t deserve to be forgiven.” But I say,
“Did the people who put Jesus to death deserve to be forgiven? No. “Do we deserve
to be forgiven by God when we sin against Him? No. But yet God still forgives us.
We must forgive because God forgives us.
Leonardo da Vinci painted the fresco "The Last Supper" in a church in Milan. Two very
interesting stories are associated with this painting.
At the time that Leonardo da Vinci painted "The Last Supper," he had an enemy who was
a fellow painter. da Vinci had had a bitter argument with this man and despised him. When
da Vinci painted the face of Judas Iscariot at the table with Jesus, he used the face of his
enemy so that it would be present for ages as the man who betrayed Jesus. He took delight
while painting this picture in knowing that others would actually notice the face of his
enemy on Judas.
As he worked on the faces of the other disciples, he often tried to paint the face of Jesus,
but couldn't make any progress. da Vinci felt frustrated and confused. In time he realized
what was wrong. His hatred for the other painter was holding him back from finishing the
face of Jesus. Only after making peace with his fellow painter and repainting the face of
Judas was he able to paint the face of Jesus and complete his masterpiece.
One of the reasons we may have a hard time accepting the forgiveness of God is that we
find it hard to forgive others. That's why Jesus said, "If you forgive men when they sin
against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you" (Matt. 6:14,15). If you want your
relationship with Jesus to be all that it should be, forgive your enemies and do all you can
to demonstrate Christ's love to them.
7. Brethren, I realize that at times, it is hard to forgive…but we must. We must forgive
so that we can get on with our lives. At this moment, if you need to forgive someone,
do what Jesus did, pray…"Father, forgive them…"
(2) SECOND, WE CAN LEARN THAT FORGIVENESS ULTIMATELY COMES
FROM GOD THE FATHER.
1. Although Jesus could have easily forgiven these men Himself, why did He ask His
Heavenly Father to forgive them?
2. The answer is…Jesus wants us to understand that forgiveness ultimately comes from
the Father. An offense against the Son was an offense against the Father. A sin
against any other person was – and is – a sin against God; like the prodigal son said to
his father, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer
worthy to be called your son” (Luke 15:21).
3. When we sin against others, we are also sinning against God. When we sin against
another person, not only should we ask that person for forgiveness, but we should also
ask God for His forgiveness. Why? Forgiveness ultimately comes from God the