And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. (Matthew 6:12, NIV)
However important justice is—and it is important—forgiveness is more important. The Christian at prayer, even as Jesus as prayer, is not first of all an impersonal agent of justice but a personal conveyer of forgiveness and a witness to the resurrection. Such forgiveness is not soft sentimentality. It is hard-edged gospel. Such forgiveness is not a moral shrug of the shoulders. It is a white-hot flame of resurrection love forged in the furnace of the cross. Assuming that the criminal crucified next to Jesus was receiving a just death sentence (he said as much himself), the sentence was not revoked in Jesus’ prayer. The criminal died for his crime. But forgiveness trumped justice. It always does. —Eugene Peterson
And when they came to the place which is called The Skull, there they crucified him, and the criminals, one on the right and one on the left. And Jesus said, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. (Luke 23:33-34, NIV)
Everyone thinks forgiveness is a lovely idea until he has something to forgive.
― C.S. Lewis
Be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you. (Ephesians 4:32, NLT)
“Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise.” (Luke 23:43, ESV)