In the days leading up to his crucifixion Jesus had to go through a great deal of suffering. Some of that was physical pain.
But it must also have been painful for him to discover that one of his disciples, Judas, was prepared to betray him for thirty pieces of silver.
Then there was Simon Peter, the leader of his special group of twelve disciples who had declared that no matter what anyone else was going to do, he would never let his Master down.
However after Jesus was arrested, on three different occasions, Simon Peter was asked by someone if he was a friend of Jesus. And on all three occasions Peter denied that he was. Later on he realised he had let Jesus down and he wept bitterly over it.
After the resurrection, Jesus spent some time with the disciples on a beach. He took Simon Peter aside and asked him three times if basically he was still Jesus’ friend.
Simon Peter was horrified to be asked that question three times and protested that he was. Jesus then gave Peter work to do. He had to look after his followers.
By doing that Jesus showed that he had forgiven Peter.
For many people one of the most difficult things in life to cope with is when someone they think highly of lets them down. What would we do about it?
Do we accept the fact that we all make mistakes and forgive them?
Or do we decide that we are going to have nothing to do with them in future because we can no longer trust them? Being forgiving towards others and accepting forgiveness from others is important for most human beings.
If Jesus can forgive – then we too should learn to be forgiving towards other people.