Father Forgive Them
Those who crucified Jesus were not aware of the full scope of what they were doing because they did not recognize Him as the Messiah. While their ignorance of divine truth did not mean they deserve forgiveness, Christ’s prayer in the midst of their mocking Him is an expression of the limitless compassion of divine grace.
“The voice of sin is loud, but the voice of forgiveness is louder.”– D.L. Moody
Luke 23:33-38 (NASB)
33When they came to the place called The Skull, there they crucified Him and the criminals, one on the right and the other on the left.34But Jesus was saying, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” And they cast lots, dividing up His garments among themselves.35And the people stood by, looking on. And even the rulers were sneering at Him, saying, “He saved others; let Him save Himself if this is the Christ of God, His Chosen One.”36The soldiers also mocked Him, coming up to Him, offering Him sour wine,37and saying, “If You are the King of the Jews, save Yourself!”38Now there was also an inscription above Him, “THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.”
Romans 10:9-10 (NASB)
9 that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; 10 for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.
Isaiah 53:12 (NASB)
12 Therefore, I will allot Him a portion with the great,
And He will divide the booty with the strong;
Because He poured out Himself to death,
And was numbered with the transgressors;
Yet He Himself bore the sin of many,
And interceded for the transgressors.
Exodus 34:6-7 (NASB)
6 Then the Lord passed by in front of him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the LordGod, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness and truth; 7 who keeps lovingkindness for thousands, who forgives iniquity, transgression and sin; yet He will by no means leave the guilty unpunished, visiting the iniquity of fathers on the children and on the grandchildren to the third and fourth generations.”
What resonates with you from Luke 23:32-38?
What do you learn about God from this text?
What do you learn about Jesus?
What are your thoughts on Jesus' prayer in verse 34?
Based on this passage, how would you define forgiveness?
Have you ever had a time, where it was difficult to forgive someone for a wrongdoing?
Has there been a time where you found it difficult to forgive yourself for something that you have done?
Did Jesus have a difficult time forgiving or praying for the forgiveness of his attacker and murderers?
Why should we forgive those who've hurt us? Why should we forgive ourselves?
Who in your life do you need to forgive in the same way that Christ has forgiven you? What is it that you need to forgive yourself for that Christ has already forgiven?
Father, go now where words cannot go—deep into the inner recesses of every heart. Show us the truth about ourselves. Forgive us for not forgiving others. We long for the freedom that comes from letting go of our bitterness. Break the chain of remembered hurts that binds us to the past. Soften our hearts so that we can hear your voice speaking to us. Show us what we must do and then give us the courage to do it. We pray in Jesus’ name,