Read Luke 23:33-38 silently.
When they spit on Him and slapped Him, He was silent. When they hit Him with rods and rammed a crown of thorns on His head, He never retaliated. When they wove the shards of glass and bone into the whip to beat Him, He could have caught the whip in midair and never received a lash. He could have called down an army of angels in the garden that night when they came to arrest Him. He could have stood His ground and dared them to move Almighty God Himself when they shoved the crossbeam into His arms. When they pierced His hands with nails, He could have unleashed all of the righteous fury of heaven.
He could have stopped them at any time.
But He didn’t.
Instead, He spoke.
The soldiers carrying out Jesus’s execution sentence were accustomed to hearing responses from their victims. History records that Jewish martyrs prayed their executioners would face retaliation, vengeance, and even eternal punishment. Theses soldiers were likely expecting those kinds of words, and Jesus could have said all of those things.
But He didn’t.
Instead, He gave us a glimpse into His heart.
“Father forgive them. For they know not what they do.”
What kind of God could forgive the men who carried out the violence of that day?
What kind of God would even ask forgiveness for people who haven’t even said they’re sorry?
It doesn’t make sense.
Nothing about what Jesus is doing makes sense. He is God in the flesh, choosing to allow evil men to torture and kill Him. Why? What could possibly motivate such madness?
From the beginning of time, God chose us.
He could have existed without us, but He didn’t want to.
He knew that we would rebel and choose sin.
He knew we would choose to try to live life apart from Him.
He knew that choosing us, choosing to love us, meant having to forgive us over and over.
He has always known that loving us meant forgiving us.
He loves you unconditionally.
Always has. Always will.
Such love is messy, as is the forgiveness that such a love requires.
Jesus chose to love you, knowing choosing you meant choosing His cross.