It is impossible to approach the magnitude of Easter without gazing on the beauty of Christ’s forgiveness and its subsequent demand on us. Consider Amy Carmichael’s reflection:
If I have not compassion on my fellow-servant even as my Lord had pity on me, then I know nothing of Calvary love.
If I know little of His pity, if I know little of His courage of hopefulness for the truly humble and penitent, then I know nothing of Calvary love.
If I cast up a confessed, repented, and forsaken sin against another, and allow my remembrance of that sin to color my thinking and feed my suspicions, then I know nothing of Calvary love.
If I take offense easily, if I am content to continue a cool unfriendliness, though friendship be possible, then I know nothing of Calvary love.
If I say, “Yes, I forgive, but I cannot forget,” as though the God, who twice a day washes all the sands on all the shores of the world, could not wash such memories from my mind, then I know nothing of Calvary love.
(From If, by Amy Carmichael. Here is the Kindle link to this little gem of a devotional book. It has been a staple of my spiritual encouragement for many years and I highly commend it to you.)
Yes, Lent calls us to cease from counting the offenses against us. Reflecting on the cross helps to us release the need for things to be made right before we embrace forgiveness. Do not neglect to notice that Jesus spoke the words “Father, forgive them” (Luke 23:24) while he was still hanging on the cross, alone and abandoned by his friends. He spoke them with the pain of the nails still in his hands and feet. He spoke them with the sting of false indictment and ridicule hanging over his head. Calvary love demands we do the same.
Have you been wronged? Offended? Betrayed? What would Calvary love have you do?