Summary: Christ spoke profound words upon the cross; Words that indicate what our attitude and ability should and can be

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“Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.”

• At the end of the crucifixion week; man can be seen in his worst condition, the One whom had been sent to save was now facing the unjust murder pronounced by His peers

John 1:11: “He came unto his own, and his own received him not.”

John 1:10: “He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.”

• Why were the words of Jesus so profound? Why, at this moment, does this proclamation matter? There were three elements to Jesus life as viewed by the world.





• The Son of God had yielded Himself up to the hands of His captures, a mock trial had been gone through, and though His judges found no fault in Him;

• Nevertheless, they had yielded to the insistent clamoring of those who hated Him as they cried again and again, “Crucify Him.”

• After the betrayal, the trial, and judgment handed down; the deed had been done

• No ordinary death would do; a death of intense suffering and shame was declared, the cross secured; and there was Jesus, nailed to it

• Imagine the Picture:

o There He hangs-(Silent)

o Is He crying out for pity-(Absolutely Not)

o What then? Is He pronouncing malediction upon His crucifiers? (NO)

• What, then, is He doing?

o He is praying;

o Praying for His enemies

o Calling out to the Father for FORGIVENESS of those who hate Him

o Looking upon those gathered with compassion and love

• “Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34)


• In the most difficult minutes of His life in the flesh, Jesus absorbs Himself with concern for the people which was ultimately the salvation of mankind

• There are three essential elements to forgiveness; they are:





• Prayer is essential in our life, particularly in the act of forgiveness

• Prayer allows us to gain an understanding of God’s will

John 5:30: “I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.”

• Forgiveness is often a word that abused and misused

• Forgiveness is much more than a word, it is a process

• “In his book. Lee: The Last Years, Charles Bracelen Flood reports that after the Civil War, Robert E. Lee visited a Kentucky lady who took him to the remains of a grand old tree in front of her house. There she bitterly cried that its limbs and trunk had been destroyed by Federal artillery fire. She looked to Lee for a word condemning the North or at least sympathizing with her loss. After a brief silence, Lee said, "Cut it down, my dear Madam, and forget it." It is better to forgive the injustices of the past than to allow them to remain, let bitterness take root and poison the rest of our life.”

• Failing to forgive others of wrongs and injustices often leads us to a life of misery and discontent

• Too often we fail to forgive on the basis of:

a. The offense

b. The person

c. Hate

d. Ignorance

• We, so often, look at the circumstances by which someone has done us wrong and fail to evaluate our own wrongs toward other people to include possibly the one who has wronged us

• Forgiveness means to fully relieve someone of a mistake or wrong

• As Jesus hung upon the cross, we see in the passage that He took upon one last ministry; the ministry of prayer

a. No longer might the hands minister to the sick, for they are nailed to the cross

b. No longer may those feet carry Him on errands of mercy, for they are fastened to the tree

c. No longer may He instruct the apostles, for they had forsaken Him and fled

• How, then, does Jesus occupy Himself? By praying for the very ones who had forsaken, mocked and crucified Him

• Christ set the example of how to treat those who have wronged and who hate us

• He also showed that no one is beyond the reach and power of prayer

• If Christ prayed for His murderers, then surely we can pray for those in this life we possess disputations with

• As Christians we should never lose the hope of the ability of Salvation to reach even the most desperately lost

a. Does it appear to you to be a waste of time to pray for the man, the woman or even the family member, for they just won’t listen?

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