Forgiveness and 9-11

The cross is the standard for Christian forgiveness. Our inability to meet that standard of forgiveness proves we need it too. 

The men who flew planes into the World Trade Center towers, Pentagon, and a field in Pennsylvania were wicked, evil, godless fools who perpetrated an unspeakable act against people created in the image of God. As I watched the non-stop television coverage on the anniversary of the terrorist attacks yesterday I found anger that had been suppressed for a decade somehow rekindled inside of me.
Surely there is a stopping-point for the kinds of people God legitimately expects us to forgive, right? 


Matthew 18:21-35 is pretty clear. Jesus only expects us to forgive to the degree that He has forgiven. Beyond that, we're not responsible. 

In Luke 23:34, Jesus Himself models forgiveness. He forgives the Roman soldiers who spit in the face of God Himself while He slowly suffocated to death on a cross. As heinous as 9-11 was, it's not even a blip on the radar screen of heinous compared with what Jesus was willing to forgive just minutes before He died. 

Of course, forgiveness like that isn't realistic for you or me. It doesn't seem possible for me to erase the debt of those depraved lunatics who commandeered jets and killed thousands of innocent people.  

And that very fact should remind me that I need forgiveness too. I need a Savior too. My inability to live-up to Jesus' example of forgiveness only highlights the gap between Him and me. And when we're talking about an infinite God, an infinite gap puts me a lot closer on the scale to the people I despise than to the God I aspire to be like...