Summary: While on the cross, Jesus made seven utterances and the first word of " fire " of those statements was " Father forgive them for they know not what they do.
(I wish to thank God for the inspirational writing of A. W. Pink’s book, The Seven Sayings of the Savior on the Cross, which guided me in the writing of this sermon.)
The First word of Christ.......
Father forgive them for they know not what they do..
Text....Luke 23: 34
This cross on whom Jesus died remains the center symbol of my faith. Because I know my Savior died for me.
I know he took upon Himself all of my sin.
If we can close our 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.
And yet in the midst of that horrific scene, 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, because at one time we also denied Him...
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." But I raise the question, of how, how can Jesus ask God to forgive them while they are still in the act of sinning against Him and afflicting great pain on Him?
I don’t envision how moral we are ,
Those words are etched in our minds simply because they are so hard to understand. 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.
According to Luke these are first words Jesus spoke after He was placed on the cross
When we come to the cross and the crucifixion of Christ, we find that His death was just as much a miracle as His birth or resurrection.
It can truly be said of His death that it was natural, unnatural, and supernatural.
It was natural because He really died. His death was a natural one.
It was unnatural in that He should not have died. The wages of sin in death. He had no sin, yet He died. It was unnatural that He who was perfectly holy should die.
It was also supernatural in that He laid down His life. NO one took it from him.
While on the cross, Jesus made seven utterances or statements. My task and purpose today is to preach on the fires of just one of those statements.
" Father forgive them for they know not what they do..
I. THIS CRY WAS A FULFILLMENT OF PROPHECY
The cry is, "Father forgive them..." The prophecy is found in Isaiah 53:12
Isaiah 53:12 ". . . and made intercession for the transgressors." Here it is in the wonderful prophecies of Isaiah! Hear we have a prophecy written 745 years before the event!
II. THIS CRY IDENTIFIED HIM WITH HIS PEOPLE
Luke 23:34 "Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do." Only on this occasion did Jesus every pray like this.
Jesus never called on His father to forgive sins. He, himself demonstrated the Had power, while on earth, to forgive sins.
Matthew 9:2 "And, behold, they brought to him a man sick of the palsy, lying on a bed: and Jesus seeing their faith said unto the sick of the palsy; Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee."
Luke 7:48 "And he said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven." Only God can forgive sins and the Jewish leaders knew that. Mark 2:7 "Why doth this man thus speak blasphemies? who can forgive sins but God only?"
When Jesus forgave sins, He identified with His people and addressed God as His Father and requested the He forgive their sins.
III. THIS CRY SHOW THE IGNORANCE OF THE HUMAN HEART
Luke 23:34 "Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do." They were aware that Jesus of Nazareth was being crucified. That much they knew.
The emphases here should be on ‘they know not what they do.’
Jesus was their Messiah. He was their only means of salvation. Only through Him would and could the promises of God be fulfilled. But they knew not what they were doing.
And what they actually doing, was that they were murdering Deity they murdered God, .
Peter says in Acts 3:15: "And killed the Prince of life, whom God hath raised from the dead; whereof we are witnesses."
THIS CRY SHOWS MAN’S GREATEST NEED
Luke 23:34 "Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do."
Notice what Jesus prayed for.
He did not pray for their wealth.
He did not pray for prosperity for the nation.