It is absolutely deplorable what has happened in Charlottesville. That is something that we can all agree on, whether you’re religious or non-religious. For myself I find this being wrong on so many levels, but most of all a clear contradiction of what Jesus told us to do in Mark 12:30-31 “30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”
I’m not here writing to explain to you how wrong those hateful people are, in fact I’m hear to address you and me. After this extreme show of violence and hatred to everyone who doesn’t have the same beliefs, skin tone, or gender what do we do as people who claim to follow God? The answer is easier to say then it is to do; we are called to love these people who have caused all of this harm.
In the book of Luke we find an interesting passage of text that shows us the extent of how far Jesus believes we should go in forgiving others. Jesus had been beaten, whipped, and nailed to a cross at this point. His death is no longer a probability it is a certainty. A crowd was gathered around the cross with people mocking him for calling himself the son of God. As blood dripped down his body, breath becoming short, and his death becoming imminent he uttered these words:
Luke 23:34a “ 34 “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” “
How can one be so forgiving? Why did Jesus chose to forgive those and beg God to forgive those who had put him through such agonizing pain?
By uttering those words on the cross Jesus shows all of us how merciful the heart of God. There is no boundaries to the mercy that God will show to people.
Jesus begged for forgiveness to the people who put him to death.
Now we put ourselves back in the current horrible situation of Charlottesville; how do we forgive the unforgivable? This was a question I asked myself upon praying for the people in this situation. I found myself only praying for those affected by the situation, I couldn’t bring myself to pray for let alone forgive those who caused the situation.
How do we forgive the unforgivable acts? We do because we are called to.
As we look back at the verses in Mark chapter 12 we see that we are called to love our neighbor as yourself. Our neighbor is anyone who shares this planet with us. That includes the supremacists who took a life and emotionally hurt us as a nation.
God forgives them. He’s proved that by how he forgave all of us for every single sin we have done in our ignorance or on purpose. These people are the same as us, broken individuals in desperate need of God to intercede in their lives. Who are we to deny them the forgiveness that our heavenly father has given to us?
The only things that can fix this situation is love and forgiveness. It works everytime. It isn’t easy for anyone to forgive what has happened, but then again when has the easy thing every been the best thing?
We forgive because God forgave us.
Thanks for reading.