Father Forgive them
Category : General
St. Luke 23: 34 (KJV)
34Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.
This was the first of the seven utterances of Jesus from the cross; and it has the utility of indicating two centers of forgiveness, one on the earth, the other in heaven.
If ignorance does not excuse a crime, it at least diminishes the atrocity of it. What was their ignorance, who crucified Christ? Ignorance is two-fold, simple or respective. Simple ignorance is not supportable in these persons, for in many things they were a knowing people. But it was a respective particular ignorance, “Blindness in part is happened to Israel” (Romans 11:25). They knew many other truths, but did not know Jesus Christ. In that their eyes were held.
Though they had the Scriptures among them, they misunderstood them, and did not rightly measure Christ by that right rule. However, these persons well knew that they were crucifying an innocent man; but they did not know that, by this act of theirs, they were bringing down on themselves and on their country the heaviest judgments of God. In the prayer, Father, forgive them! that word of prophecy was fulfilled, He made intercession for the transgressors, Isa.53:12
This prayer included many. It included all who had any share in the mockery, and crucifixion, and death of Christ. It included the. Roman governor, who had given authority to crucify Him; the Roman soldiers, whose duty it was to see the sentence carried out into execution; the Jewish priests and rulers, who cried out for judgment; the multitude, who were stirred up by their religious guides and rulers. All these various classes were ignorant of the true nature of the deed which they were committing, but all were not equally ignorant. Some knew more than others; and according to their greater knowledge was their guilt, according to their ignorance was their personal share in the prayer offered at the cross.
There is a strong duty of praying for our enemies, even when they are endeavoring most to injure us. The thing for which we should pray for them is that “God” would pardon them and give them better minds. The power and excellence of the Christian religion. No other religion “teaches” people to pray for the forgiveness of enemies; no other “disposes” them to do it. Men of the world seek for “revenge;” the Christian bears reproaches and persecutions with patience, and prays that God would pardon those who injure them, and save them from their sins. By this expression Christ gave evidence that he was that mild and gentle lamb, which was to be led out to be sacrificed, as Isaiah the prophet had foretold, (Isaiah 53:7.) For not only does He abstain from revenge, but pleads with God the Father for the salvation of those by whom He is most cruelly tormented.
Have a Great and God filled Day