Summary: The First Word uttered from the Cross? 1.) Father 2.) Forgive 3.) They Don't Know what They are Doing
Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them; they do not know what they are doing.”
Close your eyes…imagine the scene if you will. Can you smell the sand in the air? Can you hear them say”Give us Barabas? Can you feel the hot air, the sweat rolling down your brow? Can you see the crowds gathering? Hear the soldiers armor clamor as they escort Jesus to Calvary? Can you hear the nails being driven into the aguish cries of these men? But do you hear the first 11 words from the Cross? Father, forgive them; they do not know what they are doing.”
By the time Jesus uttered these words He must have been exhausted. With all of the events that led up to this point where His executioners have just driven the nails through His hands and feet.
He had experienced the agony in the Garden of Gethsemane, the beatings, the cruel insults and mocking by the soldiers and guards. He had endured the unfair trial in front of Caiaphas, the hearing with both Pilate and Herod. And yet the Lamb of God was silent before His accusers, but NOT silent before His God. There wasn’t any amount of pain or weakness that could silence Jesus’ prayer to the Father.
Jesus had the habit of withdrawing to lonely places to pray.
He went to the wilderness in Matt 4
In the morning before light in Mark 1:35
All night on a mountainside in Luke 6:12
To a lonely place in Luke 5:16
In the Garden of Gethsemane Luke 22:37
Jesus withdrew from the presence of people to get in tune with God@!
Church, it was not unusual for crucified persons to speak on the cross. However; their words, usually consisted of wild expressions of pain or pleads for release, curses against God or cursing on those who had inflicted their sufferings. But when Jesus had recovered from the swooning shock associated by the driving of the nails into His hands and feet, His first utterance was a prayer, and His first word was "Father."
Think about that for a moment. He could have ranted out of His mind
He could have called 10,000 angels
He could have cursed the soldiers to death
He could have rebuked the crowds
Called his disciples out
All of these things Jesus could have done…but yet He doesn’t instead He says with clarity, in the right mind, in clear dialect….Father.
The Words uttered from the Cross?
The word "Father," further, proved that the faith of Jesus was unshaken by everything in which He had endured and by what He was now enduring.
Dr. Gilbert Stafford said “When righteousness is trampled underfoot and wrong is triumphant, faith is tempted to ask if there is really a God, loving and wise, seated on the throne of the universe, or if life is the play of chance.
Church, when prosperity is turned suddenly into adversity and the plans and hopes of a life is tumbled in confusion, even the child of God asks for “the cup to pass from him”.
But, when the fortunes of Jesus were at the blackest,
when He was baited by a raging pack of wolf-like enemies, and
when He was sinking into an abyss of pain and desertion, Jesus still said "Father."