While suffering and in agony hanging from the Cross on Calvarys hill, Jesus uttered seven very powerful statements that revealed His true heart and ministry. Each individual statement carries the full weight of the Gospel itself, but when put together they are a concise portrait of Gods eternal plan for our salvation. This portrait reminds us that nothing but the finished work of Jesus Christ is going to assure us of eternal salvation. During this last week, Holy Week, we will cover all seven of these statements that came down to us from the Cross.
His first statement, Jesus said “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” (Luke 23:34) Jesus did not ask forgiveness for Himself being sinless. He did not need forgiveness. Jesus did not ask for a quick and painless death either. He knew what His purpose was and why he was dying on the Cross and for whom.
Jesus did not ask God for vengeance on those who sentenced Him to death. Instead, He prayed on their behalf. Even in all His suffering, Jesus was able to forgive His tormentors and care about their souls to the very end. If Jesus could forgive those who hurt Him, He can forgive us of our sins and give us the strength to forgive others. Is there someone in your life who you need to forgive today?
Jesus said “‘Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.’ And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.” (Luke 23:34)
Lord Jesus, help me to follow Your example and to offer forgiveness to others, whether I think they deserve it or not. Help me to remember that You forgave me of my sins and give me the strength to forgive others.