But Jesus was saying, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” And they cast lots, dividing up His garments among themselves.
Last year we looked at the willingness of Jesus to forgive others as He hung on the cross. This year, I was struck by his willingness to intercede on the behalf of others as he suffered.
While I was looking at the story of our Lord I kept thinking, had this been any one of us, we would have been screaming from the top of our lungs, “Look at Me; I’m suffering!” “All eyes on me!” “Look at this crown on my head!” “Look at the nails in my hands and feet.” “Look at them gambling for my clothing.” “Look at Me! I’m Suffering!” But, not our Lord! In the height of His suffering, He opened His mouth towards heaven and sought mercy and grace for those who were abusive towards Him.
What about you? In your journey towards the mark, are you in the habit of considering the state and need of others before your own? If your like me, and I am assuming you are, our personal plights often come with blinders at best, most often a sleep mask! We are so caught up in our own circumstances that the pain, suffering and needs of others can take sit on the back burner, getting minimal if not any attention.
Not only do many of us ignore others in the middle of our ordeals, we call attention to ourselves, highlighting our struggles, calling for the compassion and empathy of others in a way to cope and compensate us as we travel through. Though Jesus could have made a legitimate, and I mean LEGITIMATE CASE, that the world revolves around Him, we must realize that the world does not revolve around us.
Jesus was not a narcissistic, and neither should we. We are neighbors! We are fellow members of a larger community, though we find ourselves paired with smaller groups and individually loved by God. Our God is the creator of all mankind, and desires to be the Savior of all, though all have yet to acknowledged His existence or His sacrifice. It is this knowledge that must keep us pressing to reach out to all people, and displaying our love for all His creation.
Let us follow the example of our Lord. Remembering others even as we are experiencing the pain and struggles life presents us. Let us gain confidence and peace such that we show compassion to those who lack the connection to God, and the security of being justified by His sacrifice.