In his book Beneath the Cross of Jesus, A. Leonard Griffith tells the story of a young Korean exchange student who was a leader in Christian circles at the University of Pennsylvania. He left his apartment on the evening of 25 April 1958, to post a letter to his parents. As he turned from the postbox, he was met by eleven leather-jacketed teenage boys. Without a word, they beat him with a club, a lead pipe, their boots and fists—and left him dead in the gutter. The population of Philadelphia cried out for vengeance, and the district attorney announced on television that he was going to seek the death penalty.
Then the following letter arrived, signed by the boy’s parents and twenty other relatives in Korea: ‘Our family has met together and we have decided to petition that the most generous treatment possible within the laws of your government be given to those who have committed this criminal action… In order to give evidence of our sincere hope contained in this petition, we have decided to save money to start a fund to be used for the religious, educational, vocational, and social guidance of the boys when they are released… We have dared to express our hope with a spirit received from the Gospel of our Saviour Jesus Christ who died for our sins.’
This story takes forgiveness to a whole new level, doesn’t it? It also teaches that when you forgive, you relinquish the seat of the victim and sit in the seat of the victor. And that’s what Jesus has in mind for you today!