It is impossible to go through life without being hurt by somebody. We are all broken people who have been brought up by broken people and live among broken people. Broken trust is hard to bear. A promise broken. A shared secret passed on. A close relationship goes cold and distant.
The final days of the life of Jesus is a catalogue of failed friendships as one person after another lets him down. Are there clues for us in his responses? His prayer for Peter who will deny him. His offer of the bread to Judas who will betray him. His words of forgiveness on the Cross, “Father forgive them for they do not know what they are doing.”
At one level they knew very well, but at another level they had no idea what they were doing. That could be said of every failed friendship - the repercussions are deeper than “they” know. It is like taking a hammer to a block of ice and watching the cracks spread in random directions.
Ultimately the key lies in the willingness to forgive those who have failed us. Otherwise we become the victims of our own bitterness. One writer describes forgiveness as “giving up hope of a better past” and “a gift to yourself and your future.” That is not an easy way to live, but Jesus tells us to make it a life stance rather than an occasional act.
It might help to sit at the Cross and imagine the forgiving words of Jesus being spoken over you. Imagine a circle of light around you and others you know. Where is the person who has failed you so badly? Perhaps they are out in the dark shadows beyond the light of forgiveness. As you sit there, invite them into the circle of light, and let the forgiving love of Jesus flow to you, to them, and then through you to them.
The hurt will not disappear at once, but you will be set free to walk with your heart lighter and you head high.