Summary: First of the seven last words of Christ on the cross.
Word #1- ?Father forgive them; for they know not what they do?
In Gods Holy Word there may be at times when reading through the scripture that it seems like we have no hope. There may be times when it appears that God is very upset and wants nothing to do with us. But you know what I have found?
In the word of God there is always interwoven into the very fabric that makes this Gospel, the hope of forgiveness. With the underlying theme of the Bible always being about the Forgiveness of God then it gives us much hope. As I talk about the theme of forgiveness being all through the Bible why would it stop at the point when Jesus was placed on the cross? It didn?t and it won?t.
Just as faithful as Christ was to the Father, so is the Father to forgiveness. What we have here is a picture of Christ interceding on our behalf asking the Father to forgive us. How awesome that is because just as I said earlier that the theme of the Bible is forgiveness, here we are again with forgiveness being offered to us.
Now what we have to remember is the fact that Jesus was just interrogated, beaten, spat upon, mocked, ridiculed, and made to carry the very cross that He was going to nailed to. But regardless of all of that Jesus still cried out to the Father ?forgive them; for they know not what they do.? But why was Jesus placed on this cross and further more why would He ask for forgiveness on our behalf?
These will be the points in this afternoons sermon. Why was Christ on the cross and why did He ask for forgiveness on our behalf?
Why was Christ on the cross? This is the very son that the Father had sweet communion with before the creation of the world. This is the Christ that when He was baptized the Father said, ?this is my Beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.
This is the Man that the Bible tells us lived perfectly for thirty three years, and He was tempted in every way that we are. But why was He on the cross? If he did nothing wrong then why would Jesus be the one hanging on the cross?
I want you to know that there was something that was plaguing the world. There was something that was so wretched and disgusting that God wanted nothing to do with it. There was something that caused a rift in the relationship that the Father wanted with us. This something is sin.
Sin was plaguing the world, and sin is so disgusting that the Father wants nothing to do with it, as matter of fact God can not even look at sin. The Bible tells us that God can not even look upon sin. That is how Holy God is, He is so Holy that He can?t look at sin.
And because of Gods Holiness and His inability to even look at sin, this causes a separation between God and those that have sinned.
Who are those that have sinned you may be asking yourself. Everyone of us. The Bible tells us in Galatians 3:22 that ?the whole world is a prisoner to sin.? Romans 3:23, ?for all have sinned and fallen short of Gods glory.? What is sin? Because many people that there is certain levels of sin; however the book of James tells us that sin is sin, no matter what, sin is always sin. Sin is anything that is unpleasing to the Lord. That is most simplified definition of sin. Anything that does not bring glory to God. Lying, cheating, pride, arrogance, hatred, cussing, murder, and adultery just to name a few.
So you see this is why Christ was put on the cross, God required there to be a sacrifice to take away the sins of people. The sins being what caused a rift between God and the people here on earth. That?s why in the Old Testament there were all those animals being sacrificed to cover the sins of the people, but God allowed His Son to be put on the cross to wash away our sin for ever. This is why Christ was put on the cross but why was He asking the Father to forgive us?
Christ knew the very state that people were in back in the biblical days just as He knows the state that we are in today. We are sinners in need of forgiveness. Without forgiveness we are doomed and have no hope.
The separation that we touched on in the first point is why Christ went to the cross, to bridge that gap between God and man. Christ did indeed pay for the penalty of sin. He was placed upon the cross and died for you and I, so that forgiveness could to be sought.