If you visited earlier in the week, you’re aware that I’m giving away two One-Year Bibles for Women. Up until Friday midnight, you can be a part of the drawing simply by leaving a comment anywhere on this blog.
To read more about my enthusiasm for the One-Year Bible, click here.
If you’d like to know how the One-Year Bible came to be published – well, almost didn’t come to be published – click here. It’s an awesome story.
The devotional I’m including today is from One Year Daily Insights with Zig Ziglar and Dr. Ike Reighard – pondering Christ’s amazing sacrifice of love for us.
“Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.”” Luke 23:34 NLT
We need to remember that when Jesus said, “Father, forgive them,” it was after He had experienced excruciating stress during the previous week. The authorities had been looking for a way to kill Him. One of His followers had betrayed Him, and another one had denied he even knew Him. All the rest had fled when He was arrested, leaving Him completely alone. He had been beaten in the face so that He was unrecognizable and had been whipped with a cat-o’-nine-tails until His back was a bloody mess. On the streets of Jerusalem, He carried the timber that would be part of His cross until He stumbled and fell from exhaustion. When he arrived at the hill, guards drove spikes through His wrists and His feet, and He was hoisted up as a spectacle to the world.
If anyone ever had reason to be bitter, Jesus did. And if anyone ever had the power to execute vengeance on those who hurt him, Jesus did. One account says that He could have called down legions of mighty angels to slay the entire human race – which we deserved.
But there he hung, between two common criminals, to be executed like a slave or traitor though He had done nothing deserving of this fate. As He looked at the scene – angry, self-righteous leaders, disinterested Roman guards, masses of people who had come for the spectacle of blood and death – He turned instinctively to the Father and prayed for all those people. Has God’s grace ever been more evident than at that moment?
“Forgiveness is a beautiful word, until you have something to forgive.” – C.S. Lewis
Taken from The One Year Daily Insights with Zig Ziglar and Dr. Ike Reighard, copyright 2009. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. Carol Stream, IL 60188. All rights reserved. (April 2 devotional.)
As promised, I’m also including a verse from today’s One Year Bible reading:
“You, O God, are my king from ages past, bringing salvation to the earth.” Psalm 74:12 NLT