It is 9:00 a.m. Jesus now hangs, nailed to a cross, and He prays.
“Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.”
In this first of seven sayings we see …
- Jesus fulfilled prophecy
In Isaiah 53:12, we find “Therefore I will divide Him a portion with the great, and He shall divide the spoil with the strong, because He poured out His soul unto death, and He was numbered with the transgressors, and He bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.”
While He hung on the cross Jesus prayed for people who would not pray for Him. He prayed for people who would not have been prayed for if He had been unwilling to do so.
Of the many ways a person may die, one way we cannot die is by self- crucifixion. All one can do is fight it or yield to the crucifixion. You cannot crucify yourself. No doubt, the thieves fought to keep from being crucified. We would do anything we could do to keep from being crucified. But Jesus, “… humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.”
As He hung on The Cross He was being the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but for the sins of the whole world.
- We also see an intimate relationship
Notice, He said, “Father” forgive them for they know not what they do.
Who were included in the “them” in this first statement? The crowd of that day consisted of soldiers who played with dice; casting lots while the Son of God died. The crowd today, consists of people who gamble their life away while they reject the Lord. The crowd today, as they were then, is unconcerned, unconverted, and unaware of the destiny that awaits them.
- We also see His solemn intercession
In Isaiah 53:7 we find the words “He was oppressed and He was afflicted yet He opened not His mouth; He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so He opened not His mouth.”
Though He did not open His mouth in complaint, He did open His mouth in prayer to the Father. Even though He could not do many of the things He did during His earthly ministry, He could still pray.
Jesus said, “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.” The prayer of Jesus while hanging on the cross, stands in stark contrast to the rebuked hurled at Him after He forgave a man’s sins.
Saying #2 to be posted soon.