2017-Apr 14 Homily: "Father Forgive Them"
Long before Jesus,… the prophet Isaiah described in detail exactly what happened on this day.
But, more importantly, Isaiah tells us what it all means.
“He was wounded for our transgressions, crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the punishment that made us whole, and by his bruises we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray; we have all turned to our own way,
and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all”.
This senseless killing we’re about to hear, only makes sense if we believe we’ve all gone astray from God’s will.
This senseless killing only makes sense in light of how we’ve distorted our relationship from what God wants.
This senseless killing only makes sense in light of the wrongs we’ve done and the good we’ve failed to do.
This senseless killing only makes sense in light of the truth that wrongs can’t just be swept under the rug.
To be fixed,…wrongs need to be thoughtfully admitted,…apologized for,…along with actions to make up for it.
Just as when we confess sins, we say they have been in “our thoughts, words and deeds”,….
so do the same things (thoughts, words, deeds) need to be addressed to right a wrong or repair a relationship.
Unfortunately, most of the time,…even the first one of those is too great a sacrifice for us to make.
In a romance movie a few years ago a famous line put forth said;.. “love means never having to say you’re sorry”.
Such thinking is pure, unadulterated, BS.
Love means accepting, apologizing for, and fixing wrongs.
We may try to do that now and then,…and even occasionally succeed,…but overall we stink at it.
It is too much sacrifice for us to accept, admit, and make amends for wrongs we’ve done to God or one another.
So Jesus embraces the idea for us,….speaks the apology for us,… and makes amends for us.
“Father, forgive them for they know not what they are doing”….is not just for his abusers that day.
It is also his plea to God for you and me.
He does what we cannot do, and pleads on our behalf,…then and, still now everyday.
And he gives the most sincere act of atonement one can give - his life.
Jesus offers the Father that sacrifice of love (often called repentance) that we cannot bring ourselves to do.
As Isaiah said,…he takes on the iniquity of us all and our transgressions,….there at the cross.
To gain for us the Father’s forgiveness to repair and restore our relationship with God.
All he asks in return is that we follow and love him, as he’s loved us.