Father Forgive Them
While they were nailing Jesus to the cross, he prayed over and over, “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they’re doing.”
As we look into the many attributes of Jesus, this verse highlights the compassion and love of our savior. The crucifixion was an extremely painful death and was of great shame. As we read of the events leading up to the cross, we see that His mission was going to be one of sacrifice. Just the flogging would be enough to kill anyone else, but Jesus was on His mission to be the savior to mankind. We can look at the life of Jesus and see the love He has for us. But, what pierced my heart was reading that even when they were driving the nails into His hands, He was praying for them. What love is this that as they were murdering Him. He was not concerned with His pain but theirs. He knew that in the moments to come they would know His true identity. In verse 47 the verse reads:
“When the Roman captain overseeing the crucifixion witnessed all that took place, he was awestruck and glorified God. Acknowledging what they had done, he said, “I have no doubt; we just killed the righteous one.”
Jesus demonstrated how we are to respond to those who hurt us. Even when we are innocent our prayer should be “Father forgive them.” Let us remember and keep our hearts pierced with the truth, that in the same way He loves us, we are to love even our enemies in that same way.
Pastor Benaiah Snider