The first words of Jesus on the cross were centered on forgiveness. Radical injustice against Christ came face to face with radical forgiveness from Christ. The same is true for us. We will never look more like Jesus than when we experience injustice and breath out forgiveness. That’s when we know the gospel has taken root in our lives. - Pastor Dave
Open: Have you ever had difficulty forgiving someone? Explain the situation: What made forgiveness so difficult?
Read: Luke 23; Matthew 6:9-15; Isaiah 53:12; 1 John 1; Hebrews 7:25 1.
1. Forgiveness is a beautiful word but a difficult concept. Describe your experience with forgiveness (both from God and others): What makes forgiveness so difficult for people, including Christians?
2. Jesus’ first words on the cross were a prayer of forgiveness. What does this tell us about Christ’s purpose on earth? How do you see forgiveness at the core of His teachings? How do you see forgiveness foreign to human nature yet an absolute characteristic of God’s nature?
3. Why would it be considered unique that Jesus asked the Father to forgive? Who is “them”? How does the context surrounding the crucifixion make this statement more powerful and profound? How do we normally deal with our sin and guilt? How should this moment on the cross motivate confession?
4. What does it mean, “they know not what they do?” How is ignorance not a reasonable excuse for guilt? How is all sin ignorant? How is forgiveness, by its very definition, undeserved? How have you experienced this in your own life with others you have had to forgive?
5. What are some of the misconceptions we have about forgiving others? How has God’s forgiveness affected your life and your willingness to forgive? How can the realization ofhow much we have been forgiven by God help fuel our ability and willingness to forgive someone?
Pray: Thank God for your forgiveness. If there are areas you need God’s forgiveness, spend some time confessing. Ask God to give you the strength to forgive others in your life that may have hurt you.
Memorize/Meditate: Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. Ephesians 4:32 O