One of the lessons of the cross that I think is often overlooked is restraint. What I mean by restraint is the ability to control your actions. Often I think of restraint when it comes to speaking. There are usually things which lack grace that our brain may suggest as a response in a difficult situation. Restraint is choosing to keep those thoughts in our heads and never allowing them to hit our lips.

Jesus knows what lies ahead. He knows the torment He will be subject to from the Roman soldiers. He knows the pain of having a traitor in His inner circle. He knows the hurt associated with each nail and the pressure from asphyxiation. 

He has all the power of God. He could put an end to the torment at any time. He shows great restraint. As He  is being mocked and challenged Jeus could choose to show His power as God. Jesus could have chosen to save himself. He never did. He showed restraint. 

In His restraint Jesus shared forgiveness. As He is being tormented by the crowd, the soldiers, and the criminals being crucified alongside Him, Jesus extends forgiveness. “Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”’ (Luke 23:34). He tells the criminal on the cross, “Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”’ (Luke 23:43).

It seems restraint provides space for us to much more. Showing restraint provides the opportunity for us to show love and forgiveness. Just like Jesus did.

Be Blessed and Be a Blessing,

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