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Father Forgive Them 

“Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment and cast lots.”

Luke 23:34 KJV

 

This is the first blessed saying of our Lord Jesus Christ from the Cross. Lord Jesus Christ was crucified on Friday morning at about 9.00 am.

Jesus spent the previous night in different courts where He had been severely beaten, slapped and had His face spit upon, by the soldiers.  He had been badly humiliated, lashed, and intensely wounded. His body was pummeled.  The soldiers put crown of thorns upon His head.  And, Jesus was given a crimson robe to wear and then soldiers saluted Him.  He was blindfolded, handcuffed and beaten. O dear Father forgive them.  

The soldiers demanded Jesus to tell them, with the spirit of prophesy, who had slapped Him.  

This torture was repeated throughout the night.  Jesus could not sleep. Nor, did He eat or drink anything during the night.  

In the morning, Jesus was taken to be crucified.  As the women of Jerusalem saw him, they cried. Lord Jesus Christ said to them, “Don’t cry for me, but cry for your children.”  

When the soldiers put Jesus’ hands on the Cross and pounded the nails into His right hand, the blood gushed out from Him like a spring.  The physical pain and suffering that He endured was intense.  Yet, Jesus prayed for them as He spoke His first saying from the Cross:  

“Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.”

There are several points in this prayer that we can contemplate.

 

1)   Lord Jesus Christ openly and publically announced that he is Son of God

Lord Jesus Christ openly said before the Scribes, Pharisees, Sadducees, High Priest, teachers of the law, soldiers, and the general public that He is Son of God. Here we see His great courage and boldness. Although He was nailed to the Cross, He wanted everyone to know that He is the Son of God…that God is His Father. Father forgive them.

 

2)   A Deep Relationship

During Jesus’ painful moments on the Cross, His relationship with His Father is sustained, although He is crucified as the sacrifice for sinful man.  

 

3)   A Personal Relationship

Lord Jesus Christ has a personal, strong and deep relationship with God the Father, and as He hangs on the Cross, in intense pain, He pleads to His Heavenly Father for His persecutors:   

“Father forgive them;”

 

4)   A fulfillment of the Old Testament Prophecies

In 750 BC, inspired by the Holy Spirit Prophet Isaiah wrote: 

“…and made intercession for the transgressors.”

Isa 53:12 KJV

 

5)   He was a teacher with action.

Jesus was a practical teacher. He taught:

“But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;”

Matthew 5:44 KJV

In fact, Jesus proved this as He lived His life, everything that He said…He did. 

 

6)   He pleaded for all

This is very painful situation. Jesus pleaded for all of those who crucified Him; for the Scribes, Pharisees, teachers of the law, High Priests, Sadducees, Soldiers and for the general public. O Father forgive them.

 

7)   Here we see the picture of human blindness

Senseless and spiritually blind men are crucifying their Creator and Savior, although He came into this world to save them.

 

8)    We also see the mercy of God on the Cross

If Lord Jesus Christ would have desired this, He would have put His persecutors to eternal sleep. We see the God’s wrath in Old Testament:

“And it came to pass that night, that the angel of the LORD went out, and smote in the camp of the Assyrians an hundred fourscore and five thousand: and when they arose early in the morning, behold, they were all dead corpses.”

2Ki 19:35 KJV

But on the Cross, He shows His mercy unto them because He did not want anyone to perish but come to repentance.  

“The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”

2Pe 3:9 KJV

Father forgive them. If he would have commanded so, the fire would have come down from heaven and consumed every person, or he would have ordered the earth to open her mouth and swallow everyone, but he did not do so. Although, he certainly had the divine power and authority, He did not use His power in this way.

   

9)   He became a mediator

He became a mediator between man and God, so that sinful man could have peace and be reconciled with a Holy God.

“For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;”

1Ti 2:5 KJV

“Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.”

1Ti 2:6 KJV

 

10)   Lord Jesus Christ did not ask punishment for these people

Instead, He asked God to forgive them. 

 “… Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.”

 

11)   Lord Jesus Christ is an active worker

On the last moment of His life on the face of this earth, Lord Jesus Christ was busy doing His divine task, that which He was responsible for.  Although He was in great physical agony, He requested…

“… Father forgive them;”

 

12)   Lord Jesus Christ greatly valued His time

He knew that the time which was His was very precious. He did not mishandle or wasted His time.  He even fully utilized His time on the Cross. He pleaded for the transgressors:

“… Father forgive them;”

 

13)   This was a very important task for Lord Jesus Christ

“Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.”

Joh 4:34 KJV

 

14)   Lord Jesus Christ very nicely finished the task

Jesus completed the task that His Father sent Him into the world to accomplish.  The sixth saying from the Cross, Jesus said: 

“…It is finished.”

Joh 19:30 KJV

 

15)   This is the saying of forgiveness

Lord Jesus Christ pleaded to His Heavenly Father for the forgiveness of the soldiers, the Pharisees, and the general public.

 

16)    Lord Jesus Christ took the initiative to offer forgiveness

Our merciful Lord Jesus Christ always takes the initiative to save sinful man

“For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.”

Rom 5:6 KJV

 

 17)   This forgiveness was unconditional

Lord Jesus Christ pleaded for the forgiveness of all, unconditionally.

a)   Lord Jesus Christ did not say to the crowd, first you ask forgiveness and then I will plead for your forgiveness. He forgave the people just as they were.

b)   The people did not ask to be forgiven, yet, Lord Jesus Christ Himself pleaded before the Father on their behalf.  

 

18)   This forgiveness is for all

People from every walk of life, and from every school of thought.  Those of every color, creed, nation, origin, tribe, and family, every individual. Whatever the sin that he or she has committed. This forgiveness is for all.

 

19)  This   forgiveness is free

There is no price to pay.  Forgiveness is free, although on the other hand, Lord Jesus Christ sacrificed His life for us, so that we may be forgiven, freely.   

 

20)   Have you received this forgiveness?

It is a great joy to be forgiven by God. If you have believed in Lord Jesus Christ and His sacrifice for your sins, then you have come close to Him…and your sins are forgiven. If you have not yet experienced this forgiveness, then come under the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ and receive this forgiveness, by faith. He is calling you to offer this forgiveness. He is pleading for you before His Heavenly Father:

“Father forgive them.”

 

21) Do you forgive others?

The friends who have hurt you, you are angry with them. You are not on good terms with them. Do you forgive them from the depth of your heart? If you do not forgive them, then it means that you have not received or experienced that absolute forgiveness. If you have completely received the forgiveness, then it is very pivotal and essential that you forgive others with an open and generous heart.

 

22)   Do you promote this forgiveness?         

This is the responsibility of each and   every believer. The forgiveness which Lord Jesus Christ has offered you free on the Cross by sacrificing His life. It is very important that you tell others about it. You should promote it to the people who are living in the sin. Those who have not yet received forgiveness from God through Lord Jesus Christ. They are in the grip of death and Satan. They may have also the taste of divine forgiveness. They may also become the children of God and become the partaker of the divine person.

This is the   1st saying of our Lord Jesus Christ from the Cross;

 “…Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.”

In this saying Lord Jesus Christ openly said:

I am the Son of God

He has personal and deep relationship with God the Father

This saying is the fulfillment of the Old Testament prophecy

He was a teacher with actions. O Father forgive them..

In this saying we see the blindness of man and the great mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ

Here we see Jesus as a mediator and an active worker

He did not ask God for the judgment or punishment of these people

He greatly knew the value of time

It was very important task for Him

He nicely finished His task

This is the saying of forgiveness

This forgiveness is unconditional

This forgiveness is for all

This forgiveness is free

Have you received this forgiveness?

Do you forgive others?

Do you promote this forgiveness?

Blessings from our Lord Jesus Christ

 

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