10 Feb Day 12
WRITTEN BY: Cindy Klein
Scripture: Luke 23:34-35 NLT “Jesus said, ‘Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.’ And the soldiers gambled for his clothes by throwing dice. The crowd watched and the leaders scoffed. ‘He saved others,’ they said, ‘let him save himself if he is really God’s Messiah, the Chosen One.’ ”
To read the entire passage, click here: Luke 23 NLT
Observation: As you read the account of Jesus’ crucifixion in Luke 23, you will see all of the trials and tribulations that he had to endure. He was mocked. He was ridiculed. He was questioned. Yet, he continued on and knew what was being asked of him. Jesus loves us so much that he sacrificed himself and died on the cross so that we may be free and forgiven.
If you go on to read further, in verse 39, even one of the criminals hanging beside Jesus asked for the saving of themselves, “So you’re the Messiah, are you? Prove it by saving yourself – and us, too, while you’re at it!” (NLT). But not Jesus, our Messiah! Not once did he ask for himself to be saved. But instead, he asked for the forgiveness of those persecuting him. Hanging on the cross in between two thieves, he pleaded with God, “Forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34 NLT). Wow! Could you imagine?
Application: Call me human, but if someone is accusing me of something that I did not do, my first thought would not be to stop and pray for them. It would be to defend myself. But thankfully, that is not the God we serve. We serve a God full of grace and mercy who endured a criminal’s death for us. He didn’t feel the need to defend himself or his name. Instead, he defended us by staying on the cross in order to forgive our sins that we would later go on to commit.
How selfless is that? Not only did he ask for the forgiveness of the people putting him to death (as he was hanging on the cross, mind you), but he also thought of us. He did it for us! Jesus is the epitome of what it looks like to be selfless. He is who we should be modeling our lives after – to have a more “others” focused heart and mind. We can serve God well by serving others. After all, God chose Jesus, and Jesus chose us. God chose Jesus, our Messiah, to die on the cross for our sins. As followers of Christ, he has chosen us to be his hands and feet, bringing more people into his presence.
So the next time you are challenged to defend yourself or your name, I encourage you to take a step back and think about what good would come from it. Instead, think about ways to be selfless and show the love of Christ in the situation—putting others’ gain above your own and forgiving those whom others would deem unworthy, just as our Messiah demonstrated on the cross. And trust that everything else will fall into place.
All we have to do is forgive. God will do the rest. We see this in Luke 23:47 (NLT), which reads, “When the Roman officer overseeing the execution saw what had happened, he worshiped God and said, ‘Surely this man was innocent.’ ” Jesus, our Messiah, prayed for the forgiveness of those persecuting him on the cross, as he hung there himself. He didn’t ask for the saving of himself or defend his innocence in any way. Yet, it was still proclaimed in the end after he gave his final breath. How faithful and just is our Messiah!
Prayer: Lord Jesus, my Messiah, thank you for thinking of me when you were on the cross. Thank you for dying a criminal’s death so that I may be free. Please reveal to me those with whom I may need to selflessly forgive. And show me ways that I can be selfless, putting others above myself. Use me for your Kingdom, I pray. Help me be your hands and feet. Amen.
Cindy Klein/Area Coordinator, Communications Team and Impressions Team
Cindy has been attending The Journey since the beginning of 2020. A coworker introduced her, and she hasn’t looked back! She is probably one of the first smiling faces that you see as you enter the doors, as she sports Journey red. She enjoys using her gifts and talents on the Communications Team as well. Cindy is currently enrolled in JLI (Journey Leadership Institute), where she is learning to embrace and grow in the leadership skills that God has given her. When she is not at The Journey, Cindy likes spending time outside, soaking in God’s beautiful creation with her friends and family.
Just as Jesus demonstrated, pray for those who have done wrong to you. Think about who you need to forgive despite the circumstances. Write out a prayer asking God to help you forgive
Reflect on what it means to be chosen by God for God. Take a look at this devotional on the Bible App to explore this more. Chosen | Devotional Reading Plan | YouVersion Bible.
Practice a daily slot and spot – a time and place for you and Jesus to be together in his Word.
Come back for Day 13!