Summary: These words of Jesus confront us as we consider what the implications are for us.
1. This cross on whom my Saviour died remains a mystery to me. I cling to it because it is the center symbol of my faith. I know my Saviour died for me. I know he took upon Himself all of my sin. I have heard countless sermons about the cross and preached many about it myself.
2. I can close my eyes and see the horrid scene of my Jesus hanging there. Pain fills His blood-stained face. The crowd yells and calls out words that cut him to His heart.
3. What I have so much trouble understanding is how he hangs and looks at those who kill Him, how He looks at me and you - because we too would probably have been in that crowd. He sees how pitiful we really are and so He pulls His head up and looks up to His Father and says "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing."
4. I get angry when I hear Him say this. It is not right. How can He seem to excuse those who kill the Son of God?
5. I have been hurt by people before - they did not put me on a cross or kill me, but I know how hard it was to forgive them, I still know. It takes time for me to forgive those who have killed my joy, my pride, who have
killed little parts of who I am.
6. How then can Jesus ask God to forgive them while they are still in the act of sinning against Him and afflicting great pain on Him?
1. Those words are etched in our minds simply because they are so hard to understand.
2. Today we begin to look at some of the words that Jesus spoke while he was on the cross - amongst the most important words in Scripture.
a. Said on cross - central to faith.
b. Spoken by Jesus.
c. He was dying - last words that someone speaks are usually very important words.
d. We are told that Jesus did not say much. (Isa 53:7)
3. According to Luke these are first words Jesus spoke after He was placed on the cross
4. Jesus speaks to His Father.
a. The key to why He is able to forgive those who sinned against Him, in the midst of His greatest suffering, in the time of His darkest moments - Jesus is close to His Father.
b. He knows that he is not alone. He feels His presence and is moved by it.
c. I can look back at times when I felt I was being mistreated. I was angry, I was bitter, I was hurt deeply. I also did not feel close to God. My anger and bitterness put a wall between Him and me. It was only later when I could no longer deal with anger that I brought it before God and I started to sense His presence and started to see things as He did.
d. Because Jesus was always one with Father, He could suffer injustice and still forgive those who persecuted Him.
e. Shows that he places trust in Father.
5. When I hear Jesus say "Forgive them", I am made aware of how many times I been unable to forgive and I am aware that it is because I am not living in communion with my Father.
6. Do you think it unfair that Jesus should let them get off so easy? If you do, how close are you walking with God? Is He really your Father?
7. When Jesus asks His Father to forgive them, He asks Him to forgive us, for we are all part of the crowd that crucified Him thru our sin.