Father Forgive Them
Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.
As we move toward the holidays of Palm Sunday and Easter, I thought we would take some time through the use of this blog to consider the atoning work of Christ. We must never leave Jesus on the cross. But rather in light of our sin and what the penalty for our sin cost, we must surely come to the cross and remember. For it is on the cross that “Jesus paid it all.” If this is true then: “All to Him I owe. For sin had left a crimson stain and He washed it white as snow.”
Thankfully, Luke records the details that surround the crucifixion of Jesus. The crowd watched passively, and the leaders scoffed aggressively as did the Roman soldiers who also gambled for his linen undergarment. They had previously jabbed a crown of thorns on His head for poetic rebuke. Even those crucified with Jesus mocked him.
At death’s door is normally the place where sins are confessed. We don’t look around at others but become aware of our own need to make peace with our Creator. As Jesus faces death with no sins to admit, he does what only God can do—He steps in for those who are sinners.
With nothing left to do, indeed nothing He would choose to do in this state, Jesus prays for evildoers--for those we would call His enemies. He prays for you also. Not that you were there to nail Him to a cross, but he prays for your sins that put Him there—those places where you were an enemy of God.
Even in His moments of great suffering, Jesus demonstrates for us the love and grace of God. No one is beyond the touch of your prayers—not even your enemies. Maybe you have someone right now that you could pray for like that. Someone who has wounded you deeply. Someone who you’ve put out of your mind but not beyond the scar of their wound upon you.
Consider Jesus in His suffering and what he models for you. “Father forgive them. They don’t know what they are doing.” In their sin, in their ignorance, yes, even with their evil actions, Jesus can pray for them. Take a moment and pray for the strength to intercede for even one who has hurt you. Ask the Holy Spirit to enable you to even forgive them. Doing this will also set you free.