“Father, Forgive Them; For They Know Not What They Do”

This week is Holy Week… or some refer to it as “passion week”… a week to remember the final events in the life of our Lord. Jesus was crucified on Friday. While He was on the cross, Jesus spoke seven times. This week, I am going to do a post on each of those seven sayings.
The first saying of Jesus from the cross is, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing”(Luke 23:34). This was a word of forgiveness.
Let’s consider the context. On Thursday evening, Jesus was betrayed by Judas. Then, He was given a fake trial. Then, the crowd demanded Barrabbas be released and Jesus be crucified.
Then, a crown of thorns was mockingly placed on His head. Then, Jesus was scourged with a cat of nine tails. Then, following all of this, in a weakened condition, Jesus was told to carry His cross to the place of crucifixion. There, Jesus was spread out on the cross and nails were driven through His feet and hands. The cross was raised and Jesus would hang there for six hours.
While Jesus hung on the cross, the crowd began to ridicule Him. They shouted insults.
Considering everything that had happened, the persecution He had experienced it is absolutely astounding that the first words uttered by Jesus on the cross was, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” It was a word of forgiveness.
Maybe there is someone you are having difficult forgiving. Friend, people do things that hurt… they say things that hurt… but, none of us have had anything happen to us that is any worse than what Jesus experienced. If Jesus can say forgive, we can forgive. I encourage you this week, as we reflect on Jesus words of forgiveness, to grant forgiveness if needed.

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