In his final dying moments, Jesus said, “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.”
This powerful act of forgiveness is one that has baffled mortals for centuries. How could he forgive after he had been treated so brutally? Many of us have trouble forgiving the driver that cut us off on the freeway, yet he forgave those who persecuted him, jailed him, found him guilty, beat him to a pulp and then killed him.
Of course, he had been preaching the message of forgiveness throughout the entirety of his ministry. So, it stands to reason that he had to practice what he preached, but to such extremes? As he stated in one of his parables from Matthew 18: 34-35, “And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, …So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.”
So let’s examine the ordeal of Jesus, often referred to as the Passion of Christ, and examine what was really going on through that whole episode (at least in my opinion). Remember, Jesus said that we could do as he did in John 14:12, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do”
In other words, Jesus was serving the role of Exemplar. He was urging us to follow his example and in doing so, we too would be able to perform the miraculous acts that he did. Remember, in serving that role of Exemplar, he stated multiple times that it was “the Father within that doeth the work.” Also reminding us that the “kingdom of heaven is within.”
So his power actually arose from the fact that he was in direct connection with the Higher Consciousness that, in essence, exists within all of us. Unfortunately, our conscious minds that are so preoccupied with surface matters (the petty distractions that make us prone to insecurities, guilt, resentment and anger) prevent us from connecting with that deeper part of ourselves and its tremendous reservoir of power. I suspect that the physical ordeal he endured actually served to strengthen his connection to that deep inner self because it was the only way he could bear the tremendous pain he was being subjected to. Each stroke of the whip forcing him deeper within to that place of the peace that passes understanding and away from the physical horror he was facing.
What Jesus knew, and we do not, is that unforgiveness is a hook. No matter how slight, insignificant, or trivial that unforgiveness may be, it is a hook that keeps us imprisoned in the lower consciousness of our earthbound selves. Those hooks bind us to our physical selves where we are susceptible to the lower levels and perceptions of strife, pain and lack. His goal was to rise to the state of godhood. In order to ascend to that level, the hooks of unforgiveness had to be released totally from his consciousness – no exceptions.
Once in that exalted state of consciousness, often referred to as Christ Consciousness, Buddhahood or Avatar (before it was corrupted into cartoons), one can heal with the touch of a hand or bring about other seemingly miraculous events. But most importantly, one is then free of the physical limitations of the body and can join with the higher beings that exist in all religions and spiritual teachings.
Of course, that level of forgiveness is almost impossible to achieve without many years of intense spiritual and mental work. We can however make progress in developing a forgiveness mindset through training. There are many teachers in our society who have dedicated themselves to helping us to learn forgiveness utilizing various methods. One of those methods is Functional ForgivenessTM which is a process I have developed to help people create a practice of forgiveness at the most basic everyday level. It works on the premise that by learning to forgive the small things we confront on a daily basis, we develop our ability to forgive. This then becomes the resource we can use in seeking to forgive bigger more significant issues.
Father forgive them for they know not what they do!