Luke 23:34 Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.
Wow, the Lord just opened my eyes to a wonderful verse that I have read and heard quoted thousands of times. It is Luke 23:34 in which the Lord Jesus asks The Father to “Forgive them for they know not what they do.”
I have always thought of this verse speaking of the Roman soldiers that were nailing Christ to the cross, or the Jews that allowed Barabbas’ freedom over the Spotless Lamb. But last night the reality set in to me. He was talking about me. He was talking about the sinful humanity in each of us. Our sins put Jesus on the cross at Calvary. Yes, the soldiers did strike the spikes with the hammers, yes Pilate passed the judgment, but we put Him there.
I have known that my sins were why Christ died, but I did not relate that verse to it. I was thinking of the things I mentioned above, soldiers, Jews, Pilate, etc. But I don’t guess I ever realized that I was in the Bible and I am spoken of by name in the word “them”. I have heard the saying “When Jesus was on the cross, you were on His mind” before and if ever there was a scripture to back that up it is this. I can’t imagine the pain and anguish our Savior went through on the cross for us. I know that a small cut on my hand hurts a great deal sometimes, but the piercing of your hands, a large spike being driven through your flesh. Blood gushing, skin tearing. The thoughts are unbearable to me, not to even mention the ridicule, beatings, stoning, scourging and being spat on that day leading up to the cross. The movie “The Passion of The Christ” does not even come close to what Jesus went through that day. It does not show the weight He carried of all of our sins, the humiliation a man would have endured, the pain…. Oh the pain.
But the first Word recorded of Christ on the cross were what? “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.” Imagine the pain He was in physically, imagine the shock to His body as His weight pulled at the spikes in His hands, the joints being stretched and he did not utter a complaint, but a prayer to the Father of forgiveness. What an act of mercy shown on the cross as Christ took the brunt of our sins and was even then our Advocate to the Father. My heart breaks at my sins now even more, I praise God for His sacrifice for me, for you for the World.
I’d like to say that if you have not known the forgiveness of the Lord, knowing that Christ died so you might live. If you have been living a life that is full of religion and void of the Lord, there is real Hope. If you have made a “decision” at some point in your life, but have lived like the World since, spitting on the work of the cross, there is still Hope. The Hope is Christ and you need to call out to Him to save you, because nothing you can do can do it, no works will save you, no prayer, no walk down an aisle, no proclamation by a pastor, on God can change your heart. Only God can transform your sinful pride into a love so dear for Him that you will be in constant awe of Him. You can’t do it, only He can. Please seek His Face, seek out a truly God centered church, with God focused people that can help and disciple you to a real relationship with Christ and not the decision based form of religion the world embraces. Please for the sake of your eternal soul, for the Glory of God.