The First of the last words:  "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing." In the face of any offense we may know in this life, while forgiveness may not be our first word, it is to be our last word, the word that finally carries the day with all who grieve us in some way.  More often than not, it takes us a while to get there. To follow in the way of Christ, to take up our cross daily (as Jesus called his disciples to do) is at least to stay on the path towards forgiveness no matter how long it may be.

Perhaps the first step onto this path is not a face to face encounter with whomever it is we need to forgive.  Perhaps the first step on that path is our prayer on behalf of the other--who, as far as we know, is not asking us or God to be forgiven--that God would forgive them.  In making that plea, we begin to cease prosecuting our case and instead place ourselves in the role of making the case for grace...for them and for ourselves.  

There is nothing simple or easy about forgiveness.  Which is why we find it embodied here in this first word in the most horrific circumstance imaginable of what human beings can do to each other.  All of what I will suffer by way of offense in this life will likely fall far short of such a circumstance.  Which at least suggests that any logic I may come up with for un-forgiveness--of myself or of another--will fall short too.