Then some began to spit at him; they blindfolded him, struck him with their fists, and said, ‘Prophesy!’ And the guards took him and beat him. Mark 14:65
As a child, my friend Glenda experienced unspeakable abuse from her father. She grew up hating him. Even as an adult, she could not shake the memory of her father spitting on her. When Glenda finally opened her heart to Christ, she realized her seething hatred was just as awful as the sins committed against her. She was no better than her father. She had spent a lifetime imagining spitting back on him. It was this sin – and more – which Jesus died for on his cross.
This fact softened Glenda’s heart like nothing else. She understood that she could have easily been the one flinging curses and spitting on Christ as he was nailed to his cross. The memory of saliva on her seven‑year‑old face paled in comparison to the spit on her Savior. Glenda discovered, as few believers do, the depth of God's love "in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8).
Today Glenda is one of the godliest and remarkable Christians I know. She was able to forgive her father, all because she prayed, “God, forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.”
"In order to suffer without dwelling on our own affliction," Thomas Merton once contemplated, "we must think about a greater affliction, and turn to Christ on the cross. In order to suffer without hate, we must drive out bitterness from our heart by loving Jesus. In order to suffer without hope of compensation, we should find all our peace in the conviction of our union with Jesus. These things are not a matter of ascetic technique but of simple faith.” If there is a hint of bitterness in your heart toward anyone, think on Jesus. He bore that bitterness.
Precious Lord Jesus, give me the grace to forgive others in the same way you’ve forgiven me.