“Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” Luke 23:34
Jesus of Nazareth, the sinless Son of God, was hated without cause, arrested, beaten, mocked, laughed at, reviled, ridiculed, spat upon, shamed, stripped naked, crowned with thorns, publicly humiliated, nailed to a cross, and left to die!
What is the first thing He says while hanging upon the cruel tree? Does He ask His Father to send a legion of angels to destroy His persecutors? And does He condemn His unjust executioners? Or does He call for fire and brimstone to fall on these wicked devils?
That’s what we would do, is it not? But He is not like us. He is holy, harmless, undefiled, and separate from sinners. His ways are not our ways, and His thoughts are not our thoughts; for as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are His ways higher than our ways, and His thoughts than our thoughts!
Instead of fire — we see forgiveness.
Instead of words of wrath — we hear words of mercy.
Oh what grace! His lips are like lilies, dropping sweet-smelling myrrh.
Christ prays, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.”
“I pray for them. I am not praying for the world, but for those, You have given Me, for they are Yours!” John 17:9. He prayed, “Father forgive them (My people); for they know not what they do.”
Child of God, be of good comfort — you were on the heart of Christ as He hung upon the cross! You may ask yourself, Does Christ think on me? Does He notice me? Does He love me? Oh, you of little faith! You are always on His heart! You were on His heart in eternity past, in Gethsemane, on the cross — and you are on His heart now in glory! As He died in agony and blood under the wrath of God, He was thinking of you: “Father, forgive the sin of My poor, ignorant, rebellious child; for he knows not what he does!”
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