Father, Forgive Them

Luke 23:34 – Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.” And they divided His garments and cast lots.

 

He hung on the cross.

Beaten to within an inch of His life.

Bleeding from every area of His body.

Nailed through His tender wrists and ankles.

Hung, naked, for all to see.

Mocked and taunted to help Himself as He helped others.

 

And yet, with one of His precious breaths, He prays.

For them there witnessing the horrors of the moment who demanded His death.

For those who had walked with Him and abandoned Him.

For those who would come to believe in the days ahead.

For those who orchestrated and participated in His execution.

 

And for us, many years into the future, who would have His Word and His name readily available to believe in.

 

Though taking that breath was hard and wracked His already broken body with pain, He prayed for His Father to forgive them all.  All who were involved in His death.

 

But He also prayed it as an eternal prayer for all people through all time.  He was asking His father to forgive us all, including those in today’s technological society.

 

He prayed because He knew.  That we as humans would be limited to know the power of our choices and the vastness of their consequences.  That we as humans would be unable to harness our emotions all the time and would therefore speak rashly and brashly.  That we as humans would be prone to selfishness and self-centeredness.

 

father_forgive_them

 

But here is the hard truth that hit me hard Thursday night – most of the time, we are not making an honest error or simple mistake.

 

He reminded me that we often are making a deliberate choice to do things our way, by our power.  We are choosing to ignore His guidance and do what we want to do, without regret or remorse for ignoring His Spirit.  We are choosing to be selfish for our desires, without regret or remorse for those we hurt in the process of pursuit.  We are choosing to be emotionally driven and lash out, without regret or remorse for the damage we do and the relationships we destroy.

 

Yet, He knew all this.  He knew we would act contrary to His best and fight against His purpose.

 

So, as He hung on that cross, His body slowly losing its battle with life, He chose to pray for us.  He prayed for God to forgive us for those times when we didn’t realize what we did was wrong.  But He also prayed for God to forgive us for those times when we did know we were wrong – and chose to act anyway.

 

Father, forgive them”.

Because they do not know how they break Your heart.

 

Father, forgive them”.

Because they do not know how they are hurting themselves.

 

Father, forgive them”.

Because they do not know how they are rewriting their futures.

 

Father, forgive them”.

Because they do not know how much it will cost them.

 

Father, forgive them”.

Because they do not know how much damage they are doing.

 

Father, forgive them”.

Because we love them in spite of themselves.  That’s why I allowed myself to be beaten and crucified.  So we could forgive them, by the power of My blood, and have an intimate relationship with them.  Especially in those moments when they need extreme forgiveness for extreme humanity.

 

And that is true love!  He knew how we would act, think, and speak against Him and His love.  Yet He chooses to love us anyway.  In the unconditional, unrelenting, unending way that He does.

 

So choose to acknowledge where you have gone against God, decide to change your heart and turn it back toward God, and accept the forgiveness He is waiting to give you.

 

Marie Fremin.  5/19/19

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