Before going on radio in a few hours, I wanted to share this.
Earlier this week, I posted a blog discussing how quickly we seem to forget the messages of the cross and resurrection after the weekend of observance ends. While purposing to keep the observance alive passed one weekend, I actually saw of the power of the message as I looked at a news broadcast this morning.
An absolutely amazing message gained from the cross is seen in the behavior of Christ. He, knowing Himself to be the Son of God, endured betrayal, mockery, torture, and pain; yet most remarkably, He did so without anger or hatred. In fact, at one point, He prayed God, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” Imagine such spiritual strength in the face of death to pray forgiveness for the perpetrators. That is a dynamic message of love and forgiveness.
A cynic might say, “Yeah, but that was Jesus, and that was back there. It won’t happen today.” Well I saw evidence to the contrary this morning. At this writing, the number one news story in the nation is the murder of Walter Scott by a North Charleston (SC) policeman. After the death of Michael Brown last August in Ferguson, Missouri, there has been a much needed national conversation about policing and minorities, especially in black communities.
On last Saturday, the day after Good Friday and the day before celebrating the resurrection, Mr. Scott was shot in the back four times. The initial story seemed as the beginning of a cover-up until a video of the shooting was made available to the public. Then everything changed. The incident became a national story with media interviews of civic officials and family members. This morning while looking at an interview with Mr. Scott’s mother, I was humbled by her poise and unwavering faith in God in the face of such a horrendous tragedy. She talked of how difficult it was to see the video and how at one point she was unable to continue looking knowing what she would see. Later she was asked about her feelings for the policeman who killed her son. She answered, “I have nothing but forgiveness in my heart.” In the midst of grief, here was the message of the cross and the power of the resurrection personified for the world to see in a mother’s forgiveness.
As I thought about how difficult it was for her to look at the part of the video showing the death of her son, it brought to mind how God must have felt looking at the death of His Son; and how in spite of it all, Christ showed forgiveness as He prayed for those putting Him to death. Here this mother…even in profound grief…was able to say I have forgiveness in my heart.
This is a powerful message of the cross and the resurrection convincingly demonstrated by a mother who chose forgiveness over hatred…as did Christ.
Biblical Affirmation: Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you. Philippians 4:9