Suffering and Forgiveness

“And Jesus said, ‘Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.'” Luke 23:34 (ESV)

What is the meaning of Jesus saying: “they know not what they do” ? Do we forgive people outright for the wrongs they do to us? Should they be held accountable first? How would our suffering savior’s words impact the way we treat those who cause us pain, anxiety or even minor irritations?

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Body of Evidence

Conversations that follow online news articles are often far more engaging than the article. Most conversations are not worth replying to but I threw my 2 cents in for the first time tonight. The article was discussing a congress woman who happened to be atheist. This article evoked responses from theists, atheists and agnostics alike. Some claimed that faith is completely irrational while others argued that belief doesn’t need rationale.

Thinking through this a bit I realize that neither is the case.  Faith relies on rationale. There is mystery in faith but the heart of faith depends on what is known. If we don’t know at least a part of what we believe then we don’t really have faith in anything. The problem is that many people don’t understand the foundation of  faith.  This is perhaps why so many struggle to have an intelligent and respectful discussion on the topic.

As Christians, we find our basis for belief as we look to God. Romans 1 reminds Christians that He is seen is in the natural world. By looking to the stars and creation we should begin to sense His presence. God has revealed his power, beauty and His very being in creation.

In fact, this is never more clear than in the Gospel. God, through Jesus, became part of the world He created. He became our human brother, suffered on our behalf, rose from the dead, ascended to heaven and is still with us through the Holy Spirit. Christ is Emmanuel! God with us! Sadly though, many suppress the truth. They hear of Christ’s life and see creation yet ignore God’s presence.