When the neighbourhood bullies made a showing it was always good to know that your older brother was aware and could get VERY corrective. Times changed and there would be team-mates, class-mates or work-mates who would lend support or a sounding board in the event of doubts or difficulties.
But then a situation would arise that was well beyond any of them and you were stumped and frightened.
Perhaps someone came forward and said that you should look to Jesus. He would prove more than enough. This was not a familiar concept to you. You got the image of a gentle man talking to kids, or a teacher just allowing the ridicule to pile on, or a wracked human frame, naked and bleeding, and made to be the object of scorn on a horrible Cross.
Was this what it was like to be aligned with power?
But the two-ply epoxies coming together to make an incredible bonding consist of forgiveness and love.
The psalmist says that in the Lord is forgiveness that He might be FEARED. The one who forgives does not manifest the insecurity of having to rush to inequitable judgment. He cuts slack; he rests; he is above the fray; he gentles down the prospective enemy. The other striving, fencing one cannot understand it; is set off-balance, and deep down is urged to follow suit in harmony.
There is magic in this and an aspect of the Holy Spirit. First Corinthians 13 tells us Love never fails.
I am reminded of the image of a majestic grizzly bear being followed for days by trapper-hunters. Eventually they believe that they have him cornered on a small series of pathways on the edge of a mountain. The man up ahead has the gun poised for the moment the prey comes around the corner. That moment comes but the look on the bear’s face is curious. The man hesitates and takes a few slow steps outward on the ledge with nothing beyond but a dreadful drop. He suspects that if he were to shoot now the bear would still have a moment’s lunge, and he would go over.
The two stare at each other for what seems to be a very long time. Then with a grunt, the prey turns and walks away and beyond view. Perhaps he has demonstrated the greatest of power and control.
On a very chaotic Friday afternoon a Man faced a howling mob and said “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.”