Tuesday, January 23

Father, forgive them…

Scripture: Exodus 6-8, Luke 23

Luke 23:34 Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, because they do not know what they are doing.”

Observation

Amazing!  Jesus forgives those who crucified Him.  “They don’t know what they are doing.”  On the one hand, they did know—they knew that they were unjustly killing an innocent man.  On the other hand, they had no idea—they didn’t know that Jesus was God’s Son, our Savior, and that He was giving His life for us.  I wonder if they would have participated in Jesus’ death if they knew who He was.

But Jesus’ forgiveness is larger than just for those who were there at the cross.  It includes everyone responsible for His death—and that includes me…all of us.  He died for all of us, to pay for our sin.  I put Him on the cross as surely as Pilate, Herod, and the chief priests.  I am as responsible as anyone.  And for me, He prayed, “Father, forgive them.”

Later, when Stephen was being stoned to death for Jesus’ sake, he followed the Lord’s example and prayed that God would not hold this sin against those who were killing him.

Application

First, I’m grateful that I’m forgiven, that Jesus prayed for me.  Thank you Lord!

Second, I want to follow Jesus’ and Stephen’s example and forgive those who harm me.  When someone wrongs me, resists me, or speaks poorly of me, rather than holding a grudge, I choose to forgive.  That’s easier said than done!  Help me Lord!

Prayer: Lord, regarding forgiveness, thank You and help me!