This past Friday Christians around the world contemplated the execution of Jesus of Nazareth in first century Palestine, and explored what that event means for us in terms of God's forgiveness and reconciling love. Unfortunately Good Friday can become conventional, a worship service in which a relatively small percentage of members of a congregation participate.We can easily forget that this was the death penalty being carried out on an innocent man in a repressive and violent society.
Did you see the story at the end of last week about an Iranian man sentenced to death for the murder of another young man when both were age seventeen? He was blindfolded and on the gallows with a noose around his neck when the mother of his victim chose to pardon him.This option had always been available to her, and he would go to jail instead, but she wanted retribution.
The other photo shows the mother of the pardoned man embracing the mother of the victim. How is that for drama?
What does this story stir up for you? Is this true forgiveness? Is forgiveness always more complex than we would like to admit?