Jesus faced false charges, a phony conviction, and an unjust crucifixion. Yet, as the Roman soldiers nailed him to the cross, he thought nothing of his own salvation. His accusers and the soldiers and even one of the criminals at his side challenged him to prove his divine identity by rescuing himself. Instead, Jesus proved his divine identity by giving up himself for the salvation of others. “Father, forgive them,” he prayed and then became the very answer to his prayer. Jesus on the cross is forgiveness. He is forgiveness made flesh. He is the laying down of all rights to self-preservation and self-salvation for the sake of preserving and saving God’s relationship with us. This is who God is: one who gives up everything to know and love even those who hate him. Jesus lived and died in that divine way. His cross is an emblem for all times and all peoples that the forgiveness of God is ours. It is ours to receive and ours to give. We have been rescued from self-preservation into the cruciform freedom of love.