Bible Commentary: “First Word-Forgiveness” The Days Of Lent

February 14, 2016 at 12:09 pm | Posted in Bible Commentary | Leave a comment

“Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”(Luke 23:34 NIV)

Isaiah prophesied of the Messiah when he told us, “For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors” (Isaiah 53:12 NIV.  Jesus has been led to the cross, lifted up to die between two thieves and as He begins His slow painful dying He makes the first of seven last
words from the cross; a word of forgiveness. A transgressor is someone that violates a law or command, so Jesus, nailed hand and foot to the cross, is looking at those people who mock and scorn Him and He knows that they have transgressed because they have desired to see Him die and were the cause to get Him there. Jesus looks up to heaven and to His Father and makes intercession for them. Jesus stands in the gap asking that God would not be angry at what these people have done by committing murder but Jesus asks for their forgiveness.

Jesus had the power to forgive them Himself, He forgave the paralytic that had been lowered through the roof, He forgave the woman caught in adultery, He forgave people of their sins yet this time Jesus goes to the Father and asks Him to forgive them. The Word says that vengeance
belongs to God; He will repay so to stand in the gap before a vengeful God Jesus asks for their forgiveness.

Why, because they do not know what they are doing. If they had known they would never had committed this terrible offense. “None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory” (1 Corinthians 2:8 NIV). When Pilate tells the crowd that he finds Jesus innocent of Jesus’ blood and His death is their responsibility they claim that responsibility for themselves and for their children, “When Pilate saw that he was getting nowhere, but that instead an uproar was starting, he took water and washed his hands in front of the crowd. “I am innocent of this man’s blood,” he said. “It is your responsibility!” All the people answered, “Let his blood be on us and on our children” (Matthew 27:24-25 NIV)! We who are blood bought and washed know the purity and power of the blood of Jesus; these people in mob rage take the shedding of His blood as their responsibility as well as future generations. If their brains had been functioning reasonably they never would have done that. Jesus knew that the mob had been incited against Him so from His wonderful heart He asks that they be forgiven.

Child of God – Jesus, from the cross is continuing His prayer that He started in the gospel of John; “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message” (John 17:20 NIV). This prayer of forgiveness extends to us through time that we ourselves may be forgiven of our sins by His shed blood. And that we have freely received we should freely give. By the example of Jesus we should pray that (1) God, The Father, forgive us of our sins and (2) that we forgive those that have wronged or hurt us as we have been forgiven. “For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins” (Matthew 6:14-15 NIV).

Our prayer:
Lord, help me to forgive others like you did, freely and mercifully.  Thank you for all the meaning that your forgiveness has brought to my life. I pray that all your children will learn the true meaning and the true need of forgiveness from the heart. Amen.

If you want to have a personal relationship with Jesus as your Lord and Savior pray: “Dear Jesus, I know that I am a sinner and that out of love for me you willingly sacrificed your life so that I may live. I repent of all my sins and open my heart to you as my Lord and Savior. Amen.

If you prayed this prayer for the first time or if you have any questions please contact us. We would love to hear from you.


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