"Father, forgive them;
they don’t know what they’re doing."
Luke 23:34a (The Message)
Ask almost anyone if an unforgivable event has happened in their lives and you may find yourself looking in the face of at least one of these emotions–pain, anger, hurt, sorrow, bitterness, doubt, frustration, resignation, hardness. It’s the look of the unforgivable being unforgiven.
There will be those faces, however, that register peace and contentment. Here is the summit of the unforgivable, forgiven.
There’s no doubt about it, forgiveness can be the face of Yosemite’s Half Dome. Seemingly impossible, we can’t begin to imagine how to set a course much less prepare ourselves to achieve the insurmountable. Fortunately, hundreds have climbed "Half Dome." Routes have already been discovered and set, waiting for us to begin our climb.
Beaten, publically humiliated, hanging exposed for all to see, Jesus knew exactly what it took to climb "Half Dome". For three years people hadn’t been able to get enough of him. He was at the top of his game! Judas’ betrayal, Peter’s denial, the disciples disappearance and Pilot’s judgement, quickly turned it all upside down. Immobile, weakened and alone Jesus prays, Father, forgive them.
Forgiveness begins with this prayer. It tells us Who will meet us at the starting point. Paralyzing emotional pain can stop us from finding our way up our forgiveness "Half Dome" but our Father knows the route. The prayer of Jesus points us to the first foothold on the wall, Father, forgive them.
Don’t worry if months pass and this is your only prayer. The rest of the route will be revealed one foothold at a time.
Jesus, you lived out the route to forgiveness.
Help me to rest, knowing that I don’t have to
work out the way on my own.
I trust You to show me the route,
one foothold at a time.