Jesus said seven things on the cross. The first statement Jesus said was: “Father forgive them they do not know what they are doing.” As we head towards Easter Sunday, I want to highlight some of the last sayings of Jesus. In those statements are some powerful themes that still speak to us today. Jesus shows us how to forgive those who hurt us.
And when they came to the place that is called The Skull, there they crucified him, and the criminals, one on his right and one on his left. And Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” And they cast lots to divide his garments.
What Jesus has been through before he has gotten to the cross has been unreal. He has been beaten, flogged, and had a crown of thorns put on his head. He could easily hold this against these people for the rest of eternity, and no one would bat an eye. Instead, Jesus is hoisted on the cross and asks his Father to forgive them they don’t know what they are doing. This is incredible grace. Who forgives so easily? The simple answer is the one who saves us from our sins.
Ask For Forgiveness
Are you holding unforgiveness in your heart towards someone? Be set free from that bondage by asking God to forgive you for not forgiving them. That’s right! It needs to start with us. When we withhold forgiveness from someone, we are sinning. Jesus looked at the Roman Soldiers who were abusing him and the thieves who were mocking him and asked his Father to forgive them. What a great example.
They Don’t Know What They Are Doing
Have you ever tried to see something from the other person’s perspective? It’s not easy, but it can be done. Sometimes they wrong done to us has been done by someone who didn’t know they were hurting us. We don’t confront them as Matthew 18 tells us to. Instead, we put random facts and thoughts together and convict the person of a much higher crime. In all reality, people are way too focused on themselves to give us much thought. Give them a break and forgive them in your heart. You will move past it, and they won’t know the difference. Pray the same prayer as Jesus: “Father forgive them they don’t know what they are doing.”