And when they came to the place that is called The Skull, there they crucified him, and the criminals, one on his right and one on his left. And Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” And they cast lots to divide his garments. And the people stood by, watching, but the rulers scoffed at him, saying, “He saved others; let him save himself if he is the Christ of God, his Chosen One!”
Written by: Tiffany Robinson
My current phase of life involves a spirited two-year-old whom I will call intense. When she feels things, she feels them deeply! This results in my day being full of really fun moments and really low moments. I wish I could say I always respond with grace and love, but I don’t. What I have come to realize though is my two-year-old, and many other circumstances and interactions in my life, serve as a heart check.
When I react with grace and understanding, it is a sure sign that my heart is in the right place. Responding with patience shows me that I am not relying on my own power, but God’s. When I react with frustration or anger, I know that my heart needs some work. Whether it’s a full-blown fit from my toddler or getting caught in traffic, how I react tells me so much about what is going on inside of me.
In Luke 23, Jesus gives us a great example of reacting with love and grace. He is being actively beaten and mocked, yet he asks God to forgive those who are doing it. That is not the reaction one would expect and that is why this passage is so powerful. We see sin colliding with the love of God and the product is grace.
When we choose to follow Jesus, we want to become more like Him. What if every time you encountered sin in your life, you responded with grace? For me, it doesn’t change my circumstances much, but it does change how I see the people in my life.
We all experience things in life that are unexpected, that cause pain, and even warrant reactions that are equally harsh or painful. On our own, we most likely will react out of frustration, anger, or even passivity. What if we didn’t? What if we strived for our reactions to look more like Jesus’ reaction above?
Thought of the day: Take an inventory of your reactions throughout the day. Do you like what you see? Why or why not? What steps can you take to react in grace and love?
Prayer: God, thank You for always responding to me with grace. Thank You for the example of Jesus to show us how to respond to circumstances in our lives. Today I ask for Your help in my reactions and how I respond to others. Help me to respond more like Jesus, no matter what life throws my way today.