Summary: A great message for Resurrection Day!
I. FATHER - HE IDENTIFIED WHO HE WAS TALKING TO
A. He cried out to the only one that could help Him through.
1. The Lord will be the help of His people.
Isaiah 41:13 ESV - For I, the LORD your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, “Fear not, I am the one who helps you.”
2. We are not alone!
II. FORGIVE - FORGIVENESS IS A KEY TO VICTORY
A. Forgiveness is a Choice
1. Forgiveness is the process of unhooking ourselves from the pain and injustice that has been working against us.
2. Focus on the Family gives us four steps for walking in forgiveness
1. Keep looking at the larger picture
2. Celebrate your life
3. Release your need for justice
4. Choose the Kingdom of God
B. Forgiveness sets US free!
1. Matthew 6:14-15 (It’s noteworthy that this is the encouragement of Christ right after He shared with the disciples what is known as the “Lord’s Prayer”)
2. Mark 11:20-26 (Forgiveness is essential to mountain moving faith)
III. THEM - JESUS PRAYED FOR HIS ABUSERS
1. For your enemies
2. For those who “despitefully” use you (have you ever felt… just used?)
3. For those who speak “all manner of evil” against you (No weapon “formed” against you will prosper. God didn’t say the weapon wouldn’t be formed… it just won’t prosper)
B. Why should we pray for these people?
1. Because Jesus said to
2. It helps heal the hurt
3. It’s the process that can help release you from the pain
4. There can be no reconciliation without prayer
C. I wonder how many of those who nailed Jesus to the Cross eventually followed Him!
1. Jesus prayed for them WHILE THEY WERE CRUCIFYING HIM!
2. Jesus is praying for YOU right now!
IV. FOR THEY KNOW NOT WHAT THEY DO
A. They didn’t know He was the Son of God
1. There were at least 6 others claiming to be the Messiah back then!
B. They didn’t know they were fulfilling prophecy (Possibly read the entire chapter of Isaiah 53 from the Message Bible)
Isaiah 53:7 He was beaten, he was tortured, but he didn't say a word. Like a lamb taken to be slaughtered and like a sheep being sheared, he took it all in silence.
C. They didn’t know they were being instrumental in the Salvation of Mankind
Hebrews 9:28 MSG - Christ’s death was also a one-time event, but it was a sacrifice that took care of sins forever. And so, when he next appears, the outcome for those eager to greet him is, precisely, salvation.
D. They didn’t know that THREE DAYS LATER HE WOULD RISE!
1. Read - Matthew 28:1-10
CLOSING: OUR RESPONSIBILITY - THE GREAT COMMISSION
16. Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them.
17. And when they saw him, they worshipped him: but some doubted.
18. And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
19. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
20. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.