Encounters at the Cross: Tormenters

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Luke 23:33-38 When they came to the place called the Skull, they crucified him there, along with the criminals—one on his right, the other on his left. Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”  And they divided up his clothes by casting lots. The people stood watching, and the rulers even sneered at him. They said, “He saved others; let him save himself if he is God’s Messiah, the Chosen One.”  The soldiers also came up and mocked him. They offered him wine vinegar and said, “If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself.” There was a written notice above him, which read: this is the king of the jews. 

FORGIVEN & FORGIVING 

When Jesus is active in your life, you both receive and give forgiveness. 

(Colossians 2:13-15 NLT)  You were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature was not yet cut away. Then God made you alive with Christ, for he forgave all our sins.  He canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross. In this way, he disarmed the spiritual rulers and authorities. He shamed them publicly by his victory over them on the cross

FORGIVENESS & INVALUABLE WORTH 

We can forgive what is unforgivable when we see things clearly. 

(Colossians 3:13) Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 

FORGIVENESS & DISCOVERY 

The power to forgive arises from knowing what Christ has done for us. 

“We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive.  He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love.  There is some good in the worst of us.  When we discover this, we are less prone to hate our enemies.  The only way I know how to forgive is by taking the focus off of what others have done to me and to look at what Jesus has done for me.”  –Martin Luther King, Jr. 

FROM FORGIVENESS TO LOVE AND BLESSING 

Following Christ moves us from forgiveness to a profound concern for the spiritual welfare of others. 

(Luke 23:42-43) Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” 

Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.” 

BOTTOM LINE:  The power to forgive is found at the cross of Christ. 

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