Then Jesus said, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.
They killed the One so long expected – crucifying Israel’s promised Messiah.. not knowing He bore their sins on His shoulders, so that they could be forgiven. And yet a precious pardon was prayed over every guilty party, Jew and Gentile alike. Forgiveness was God’s heart of love towards the perpetrators of this heinous crime.. for in Isaiah we read: He bore the sin of many and interceded for the transgressors. Isaiah 53:12
His intercession reached back to include all sin, beginning in the garden of Paradise – a pardon extending forward to pay for every mortal sin, including yours and mine. Only the wisdom of a holy God could have designed such an act of gracious mercy. Only the love of our precious Saviour could have implored such a powerful pardon – and His death purchased and procured God’s gracious forgiveness for us all.
His entire life was a march towards this final goal for He came to save His people. He came from His home in heaven, knowing that cruel crucifixion awaited Him. How staggering that His prayer was uttered as the nails were driven into His flesh: Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.
They knew in part what they did, for in every respect they knew He was innocent.. yet had they known the fuller consequences, Jesus would never have been crucified, for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.1 Corinthians 2:8 But the Lord Jesus had to die if we guilty sinners were to live. Had the Lord of glory not died our sins could not have been forgiven.
Perhaps this is the epitome of the goodness of God, Who turns all evil to good. God’s propitiatory sacrifice for sin was the product of history’s most heinous crime. The crucifixion of God’s Son, opened the floodgates of His gracious forgiveness – and His death paid for the full price of humanities every sin – all the sin of all men, so that all that believe in His name will be saved.
Since His substitutionary death, sin is not the real barrier between man and God: but what think ye of Christ – for whoever believes in Him is not condemned. But whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. Heaven is open to all who believe that Christ paid the full price for their sins. Salvation is the gift of God to all that believe in the name of His only begotten Son. Forgiveness is the precious fruit on the Tree of Life to all that accept His forgiveness.
Christ’s substitutionary death at Calvary paid the price for the sin of the world. His precious pardon was prayed over every guilty person, Jew and Gentile alike. Forgiveness is Father-heart of God’s great love towards every guilty sinner – believing on the Lord Jesus Christ is the only requirement – What think ye of Christ?
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