As Jesus hung on the cross, mocked and rejected, his words revealed the radical grace of God—“Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34). In the face of unjust death, Jesus’ initial response was one of intercession and mercy.
This plea sets the tone for the gospel message in a broken world marred by poverty, discrimination, conflict and sorrow. Jesus did not come to judge or condemn, but to seek and save the lost. He lived out this rescue mission even in death.
In our anger and pain over injustice, we cry out for vengeance. In our church communities, we also experience misunderstanding, offense and betrayal. As we enter this Year of Communion and Unity, it may be tempting to withdraw, judge or divide when we face such hurts. But Christ calls us to the way of grace. “Love one another as I have loved you,” (John 15:12) – the way of radical forgiveness rooted in sacrificial love. Even when facing hatred and violence, he absorbed it with compassion.
As followers of Christ, we too are called to reflect God’s heart of mercy. “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,” (Matthew 5:44). This is no mere ideal, but a way of life that Jesus demonstrated even in his agony. Therefore, we must extend the same grace to others—choosing understanding rather than outrage, compassion rather than accusation.
On the cross, Jesus absorbed the world’s pain and violence into his own body. He met cruelty with compassion, hatred with love. As we prepare our hearts this Lenten season, may the cross remind us of the power of forgiving love to heal hearts and transform lives. When everything in us cries out for vengeance, Jesus whispers, “Father, forgive them.” His profound grace can soften even hearts hardened by injustice.
Today, who can you pray for instead of judge? Ask God for the supernatural ability to forgive.