A man remembered that as a boy, he experienced the brutal treatment of one of his neighbors who was cruel to him and his family. One day he met this neighbor who was now very old and weak. All the bad memories came flooding in. But as they approached each other, the man decided to give his old neighbor some of the food he was carrying. Later, he explained to his friends that at first all he wanted was to take revenge, but instead at the last moment he chose to forgive. He felt released from the pains of the past, and is now free, peaceful and joyful to face the future.


The Lord Jesus forgave the soldiers who crucified him. He also extended the same kindness to one of the criminals who died with him. But there were people missing at the scene of the crucifixion – his own friends and apostles. They abandoned him out of fear.


Now the apostles were hiding in a room, afraid of the Jews. Were they not also perhaps hiding because they were ashamed of what they had done to their Master? So when Jesus appeared to them, none of them could speak. Maybe they were expecting a stern reprimand, a tongue-lashing from the Lord. Instead, Jesus spoke to them of peace and forgiveness and he gave them the Holy Spirit.


The way of Jesus is mercy. He knew his Father was “rich in mercy.” The Holy Spirit too, creates in us an experience of mercy. Jesus could have chosen to judge and condemn the friends who betrayed him. But to do so was not to really be resurrected from the hurt, the anger, the pain of the past. In the Resurrection, the Lord Jesus was released from the cross of hatred and sin, never to be crucified again. He exercised mercy because it was the road to freedom and new life!


We experience bad things at the hands of people around us. They hurt us intentionally or unintentionally. As Christians we live the story of the Resurrection. We decide not to retaliate in anger but to extend the hand of forgiveness. To live in hatred is to remain crucified to the past. To show mercy is to be free like the Lord. Are there people around us to whom we need to show mercy? Are there people we need to forgive? Let us ask the Lord for a brave heart to be able to set other people free and in the process, to set our own hearts free!


Pls share with a friend… thanks to the internet for the photo above.