Pastor Hill: Father forgive them

Luke 23:34, “Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.”

The first words we hear from Jesus spoken from the cross are recorded in Luke 23. If we consider these words carefully, we will discover the following truths.

Speaking the Truth in Love by Pastor Tommy Hill

Speaking the Truth in Love
by Pastor Tommy Hill

He first spoke to the One who could answer His prayer. He took His plea to His Father in Heaven. Our Lord then asked His Father to forgive the very ones who had crucified Him upon the cross and He stated the reason for His request, “they know not what they do.”

We understand that they (the Romans) knew they were crucifying a man, they knew the horrors associated with this Roman execution. We also know that the Jews understood they were crucifying an innocent man. So, what did Jesus mean when He said, “they know not what they do?” I believe He was speaking to their ignorance regarding spiritual things, or spiritual truths.

It is certain they did not understand that, by this act, they were bringing the judgment of God upon themselves and upon their country. They had stated in the gospels, “let his blood be upon us and upon our children,” but I am sure they did not understand the full extent of their request.

Therefore, we find Jesus praying for those who were guilty of murder. Jesus was demonstrating all He had ever taught and preached concerning loving and caring for others. He was not condoning their sin, yet He was just as concerned for their salvation as He had been about everyone else He had met during His earthly ministry. Even though they had all the evidence available to consider who He was, they chose to ignore the truth of the Old Testament and proceed with their own desires. If they had only known the truth, they would not have crucified him, as we find written in 1 Corinthians 2:8, “Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.”

Every day we live life and make choices. Sometimes our choices may not be the most desirable when we consider our need for a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. We all have moments when we stumble and need forgiveness. When those moments come, we can take comfort in the words of Luke 23. We see Jesus requesting mercy for those whom we would identify as vile and wicked sinners, yet Jesus pleads for mercy in their case. If Jesus desires mercy for them, He extends the same mercy for those of us who fail Him every day and fall into sinful practices. Because we have been shown mercy, let us practice this same mercy and learn to display a forgiving spirit to others, as our Saviour did for us. FORGIVE THEM!

Pastor Tommy Hill is the pastor of First Free Will Baptist Church in Hamlet. He is a Richmond County native. He can be reached at firstfwbchurchhamlet@gmail.com. His column will appear each Friday in The Pee Dee Post.

Filed in: Latest Headlines, Opinion, Religion

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