"FATHER, FORGIVE THEM
Sunday, March 9, 2014
March 09, 2014
Read Luke 23:32-38.
TEXT: And Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do" (see Luke 23:34).
In agony Jesus looks upon the Roman soldiers who savagely flogged Him, crowned Him with thorns, spat upon Him, and mocked Him as King. They don't realize they nailed their God and Creator to the cross.
He looks at the Jewish crowds that had hailed Him as the Messiah when He entered Jerusalem on Sunday. Now, passing by on their way into the city, they deride Him as a fraud and fake. They have no idea they are mocking God's only Son, their Promised Savior and King.
He looks at the Jewish leaders who vehemently opposed Him throughout His ministry, who dogged His steps, twisting and distorting His teachings. They condemned Him to death, and then pressured the Roman governor to crucify Him. They do not know they have driven their High Priest to His death. He looks upon the criminals hanging at His side, railing at Him out of their pain and anger. At first, neither of them is aware they are spurning the innocent Son of God, their King.
He looks at you and me, who quickly forget the price He paid for our sins and repeatedly offend Him by our thoughts and desires, and harm our neighbor by our words and deeds.
He thinks of all we deserve for what we have done. Yet, rather than seek revenge, Jesus prays, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do." What prayer was ever so gracious-or so difficult to ask? For Jesus knows there is only one way His holy Father can turn His fiery wrath away from us-and that is by unleashing it on Him.