Mary Harmening
3 min readSep 21, 2022

“Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, because they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided his clothes and cast lots.”
‭‭Luke‬ ‭23:34‬ ‭CSB‬‬

This past week, my husband and I had one of the most moving conversations about the cross, and his new revelation of it. We all have those moments when something just clicks and the light goes on. Well, this past week was one of those moments for me.

As Christians, we all talk about the power of the cross. Jesus died for our sins. We are set free because of what He did for us on the cross. He paid it all. We say it. We believe it. Have you ever really thought about what this really means? For me, at the age of 18 I accepted Jesus into my heart. It was a time in my life I never thought I would be. I was on an unexpected journey of being a new very young mom, and had become distant from my own Dad and Mom for a season. This was because I had brought more shame to our already broken family through my rebellion. At the age of 20, as I found myself going through a very painful divorce, Jesus truly captured my heart. He met me where I was. Broken, and alone, and so much working against me in this time. I was distraught. He brought people to me that were an encouragement and shared His unconditional love through acts of kindness I will never forget. That summer of 1997, I will always remember the freedom I found in Jesus and a release from the shame of my old self melted away.

The salvation I accepted a couple years earlier came more to life. I had found a revelation of true forgiveness in Jesus. The years leading up to that moment when He captured me were very dark, and lonely. Since then, my walk with Christ has been a journey, and I’ve had a lot to unwind and sort through. I’m still a work in progress, but aren’t we all!? That’s it! We are all a work in progress. He meets us where we are! We don’t have to work for forgiveness. Jesus loves me and you like we are right now. He showed us true love and forgiveness for our sins on the cross, and forgives us for our rebellious youthful years. When we are not on our best behavior and even rejecting him like the soldiers did when He was suffering on the cross, He STILL FORGIVES it all!

The part that resonates so much for me today are the words He spoke on the cross before He died. He said it even through the pain He was going through. He said “Father FORGIVE them…” He released forgiveness in a time of pain and suffering like none of us will ever know! “FORGIVE THEM”. Yes, the cross is about forgiveness and Jesus did pay it all. As we reflect on what He did through this act of love and through spoken words of forgiveness for us, my prayer is that we as His followers can do everything we do here on earth in love remembering the cross as the greatest display of forgiveness in history. What a gift He has given us. If Jesus can forgive from the cross, we can forgive through our own pain. We don’t have to wait for the right circumstances or to feel like it! We can forgive now, and speak it out loud! Freeing! Simply Amazing!

“Do everything in love.”
‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭16:14‬ ‭CSB‬‬

Father, you have shown us that there is great power in forgiveness and through Jesus, we have an example of forgiveness we cannot ignore. Help me to walk out any forgiveness in my life. My prayer is that through this devotional that others will see your ultimate act of forgiveness on the cross as a reminder of how we are to posture our hearts towards others! Amen!

Illustrations by Haley Punjak

Edited by Rachel Harmening