Father, Forgive Them
At no other time was the mission of Christ put to a greater test than when he hung upon the cross. After enduring a night of torture he was nailed to a cross between two common thieves. There, in extreme agony he cries out to the Father, “Forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”
In this moment of physical pain he remembered why he was there. He had earlier prayed, “If it is possible, let this cup pass from me, but, nevertheless, your will be done.” He had resigned himself to the mission for which he was sent to earth.
Paul would write of Christ, “Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man he humbled himself, and became obedient to death – even death on a cross!” Philippians 3:6-8.
It was his mission to present his human body as a sacrifice for the sins of all of mankind, even for those who had tortured and crucified him. In the midst of his pain he cried, “Forgive them.”
When the soldiers mocked him saying, “If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself,” heaven and earth rocked with the echo, “Forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”
As they place a crown of thorns on his head heaven could still hear the words, “Forgive them.”
Centuries later when we reminded him of his wounds by the sin of our life and our rebellion against God heaven still reverberated with the echo of his words: “Forgive them.”
Prayer: Thank you Lord for showing the way to forgiveness even in the most trying times. Help me to learn that. Amen.
Father, Forgive Them
Principle: It was his mission to present his human body as a sacrifice for the sins of all of mankind, even for those who had tortured and crucified him. In the midst of his pain he cried, “Forgive them.”
Affirmation: I know that his suffering and death was for the sins of the world, and I am particularly aware of my own sin. I am among those he referred when he said, "Forgive them."
Reflection: There is no other passage of Scripture which demonstrates the faithfulness of Jesus to his mission than the plea he made for those who crucified him, "Forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing."