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Forgive Them, Father! They know Not What They Do

The First Sentence Of Jesus Christ On The Cross

Tina S
Tina S
Apr 5, 2010
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Religion


 


Luke 23:33-34 -- When they came to the place called "The Skull," they nailed Jesus to the cross there, and the two criminals, one on his right and one on his left. Jesus said, "Forgive them, Father! They know not what they do."

 

In this time of pain and suffering, it is striking that the first “sentence” of Jesus from the cross is of forgiveness. Who is ‘them’ that needed forgiveness?  This first saying of Jesus upon the cross was Jesus' prayer for forgiveness for those who were crucifying him: the Roman soldiers, and apparently for all others who were involved in his crucifixion. 

Peter later explained that though it was the Jewish and Roman leaders which crucified Jesus, they acted out of ignorance because they did not know he is the Messiah. He also explained that this happened because God planned it - the ‘them’ that need forgiveness is every single one of us (Acts 3:17-18).

As we take time to reflect upon the forgiveness Christ offers to each and every one of us through his sacrifice, may we not forget to forgive one another. If Jesus is willing to forgive those who crucified him then we should also be willing to forgive others who had hurt us.

Jesus is the wisdom of God who saves us from thinking that knowledge will absolve us. 

As they were driving in the nails, they were merely doing their brutal job in an equally brutal world. They knew what they needed to know and followed orders. The individuals concerned actually did nothing illegal or wrong. They did not even feel that Jesus had to understand that. And in the middle of this, a word of absolution is spoken. But these words were spoken not to the rationalizing efforts of flawed human beings; they are spoken to needs of human beings to be forgiven.

The Sacrifice of Calvary was offered for the pardon for sins. The rationalizing was left to Jesus, not the sinner. It is as if Jesus anticipated that mechanism and silenced it. Humanity stands mute before the Voice of God. The need is there before the words are formed to express it. 

Our pride, we imagine we are above all that. We imagine that because God understands, God forgives. We tell ourselves that we are pretty good which the world should see as close to perfect.

 

 

Author's note: Ref:The Holy Bible
Keywords: Luke 23:33-34,first sentence,Jesus Christ,cross,crucifixion,forgiveness,roman,Jewish,God,Acts 3:17-18,pride,sacrifice,calvary.



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