Jesus, You can't be Serious

"Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you" {Luke 6:27,28}

The Jews hated the Romans. They were being murdered, raped, beaten and the taxes they paid continued to support their oppression.

When Pontius Pilate looked at the Jews and said "Which one, Barabbas or Jesus", as Jews, they were faced with a clear choice. Would they pick a revolutionary and murderer who was filled with hatred, resentment, revenge and unforgiveness or the Son of God?

This was a defining moment in salvation history. The crowds were fickle. They loved Jesus on Sunday because they thought He was going to inaugurate His kingdom. They hated Him on Friday when His power appeared broken.

The Jews chose Barabbas and sent Jesus to the cross. We are faced with the same choice today.

Who is the one person that has hurt you the most? That one person whom you find hardest to forgive? That one person whom you said you would never forgive? Jesus is asking you to love, bless, pray and do good to that person. JESUS YOU CAN'T BE SERIOUS!

Each time we make a conscious decision to harbor hatred, resentment, revenge and unforgiveness against a person or group of people, we choose Barabbas and send Jesus to the cross.

This kind of love requires an act of the will. We can't "fall into" this kind of love, it takes a conscious effort.

Evangelization is loving people into the kingdom of God. When we choose to love unconditionally without restrictions, boundaries or perimeters, God is no longer a mystery.

The love of Jesus covers the breath of our experiences and continue the length of our lives. His love rises to the heights of our celebration and joy and reaches to the depths of our discouragement, despair and even death.

It was not the nails that held Christ to the cross, but His love for you and me. Jesus, you know our needs. Give us the strength to forgive and love everyone who has hurt us. Through your Holy Spirit, drive out the darkness of unforgiveness and fill our hearts with your light. Through your power, we can choose to forgive and love everyone, including ourselves, and accept your forgiveness and love right now.

Glenn Harmon 2002