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Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, because they don’t know what they are doing.”  Luke 23:34 NCV

When life doesn’t turn out the way we’d like it too our first inclination is to put the blame on someone else. We get stopped for speeding and blame our boss for being so unbending about getting to work on time, or blame the kids for taking so long getting ready. We fight all the way to church and blame the pastor for not having a good sermon rather than considering the fact that our anger kept us from hearing the Spirit’s soft, gentle voice. We put on extra pounds and rather than exercise and make wiser choices we blame the fast-food place for not serving ‘healthy fried foods’ (whatever that means). We spill our hot coffee as we leave the drive through and blame the coffee shop for having hot coffee!

I still find it humorous to see some of the warning labels on the products we buy. “Warning: Items taken out of the oven may be hot and cause burns.” Really? Perhaps the best one lately is the commercial with a computer generated pickup snowboarding down a mountain side with the disclaimer warning us that “We shouldn’t try this at home because pickups can’t snowboard.” Again. Seriously?

We spend millions of dollars a year trying to protect ourselves from ourselves because we’ve never really learned to accept responsibility for our actions. It started in the garden of Eden. Adam blamed Eve who blamed the snake (Satan) and we’ve been blaming ever since.

But the ultimate ‘blame-game’ we play started in the streets ofJerusalemabout 2000 years ago when we sent an innocent man to the cross. Jesus of Nazareth was condemned to die, not because of the Romans, not because of the Jews. He was condemned to die by a group of angry people who needed someone to blame for their struggles. Someone to blame for the oppression of the political system they were under. Someone to blame for the burden religion had placed on them. Someone to blame for the physical pain and the relational wounds they suffered.

So who did they blame? A man who’d spent his entire life serving others for no profit of his own. A King who chose to leave the splendor of his throne to live in the ghettos and wilderness of Palestine. A ruler who gave up his authority to be governed by the selfish, greedy subjects of his own kingdom. A Savior who came to show life to the very people who would put him to death.

It’s no wonder that this man prayed “Father forgive them for they don’t know what they are doing.” They didn’t! To this day there are people who continue to blame the one who promised us tribulation and that he’d be with us throughout the pain. We continue to blame the victim.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus. I humbly bow before you today in praise and thanksgiving for giving your life so I could live. Forgive us for the times we blame you when we need to take responsibility for our own rebellion. Thank you for the grace you give us to move on. Help me extend that same forgiveness to others who still ‘don’t know what they are doing’. Amen.

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