Last Friday evening Susan and I attended a community Good Friday Service. It was organized by our ministerial association so we all had a part in it; mine was to read Scripture.
Along with another pastor we were to read the crucifixion and death of Jesus according the Luke’s account (chapter 23). I would be reading the red letters; the words spoken by Jesus.
I joked with a few friends about it being my turn to be Jesus. I was relieved to only have four portions of what was a rather lengthy passage of Scripture. But when it came time to actually speak the words of Jesus it had an unexpected effect on me. What really challenged me was:
“Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” ~ Luke 23:34
All of a sudden I didn’t want to be Jesus! Under my breath I asked God why I couldn’t have been given the black letters. I didn’t have to wait for an answer. God knew that forgiveness is still an issue. “Ok Lord, I hear you.” Jesus forgave those who had nailed Him to the cross. I could forgive those who have done far less to me.
I’m not saying that it will happen overnight but God got my attention. God wants me to forgive so that I can be a better expression of Jesus to the world and so that it doesn’t interfere with my intimacy with Him.
One of the responses I got when I was joking about it being my turn to be Jesus was, “Aren’t we suppose to be Jesus everyday?” Yes… yes we are. Every one of us who lives with the Spirit of God dwelling in us is Jesus to those that we encounter daily.
What impression of Jesus will people have today because of their interactions with us?