Why Did Jesus Say Father, Forgive Them

Why did Jesus say “Father, forgive them” on the cross?

QuestionAnswer Those words of Jesus are recorded in Luke 23:34: “Father, forgive them, for they do not understand what they are doing.” While hanging on the cross, Jesus glanced down at the sight below him, which must have been agonizing to Him. It is said that the Roman soldiers were gambling for His garments (John 19:23–24); that criminals on either side of Him on the cross were reviling Him (Matthew 27:44); that the religious authorities were ridiculing Him (Matthew 27:41–43); and that the mob was blaspheming Him (Matthew 27:41–43).

Jesus prayed for them while surrounded by this most worthless group of people.

He pleaded with the Father to pardon the robbers who mocked Him while they hung on the cross.

When Jesus was confronted by the furious multitude that had ridiculed Him and advocated for His execution in Mark 15:29–30, He prayed for forgiveness.

It does imply that Jesus was prepared to forgive them—in fact, forgiveness was the very reason He was crucified in the first place.

Jesus interceded on behalf of sinners from the cross.

Father, forgive them,” Jesus pleaded, putting into practice the principle He had taught in the Sermon on the Mount: “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.'” (Matthew 5:43-48) Yet Jesus admonished his followers to “love their enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (Matthew 5:43–44).

  • In addition to Jesus’ willingness to forgive His tormentors, the fact that they were completely unaware of what they were doing helps to explain His willingness to forgive them (Luke 23:34).
  • The soldiers had no ill will toward Him on a personal level.
  • This was the standard procedure for dealing with condemned prisoners, and they believed He had earned it wholeheartedly.
  • The mob was completely oblivious to who they were attempting to destroy.
  • The prayer of Jesus to the Father “Father, forgive them” revealed His infinite mercy; He still loved them and would forgive them if only they would humble themselves and repent (Matthew 18:14; 2 Peter 3:9).
  • (See Mark 15:39.) One of the twothievescrucified with Jesus put his trust in Christ, who promised him eternal life (Luke 23:39–43), and he was executed.
  • Three thousand people in Jerusalem were saved in one day a little over a month later, when the church was officially established (Acts 2:41).
  • Jesus paid the penalty for the sins that we commit in our ignorance, as well as for the sins that we commit on purpose, through his death and resurrection.

When we are reborn, we, too, become an answer to Jesus’ prayer, “Father, forgive them,” because we have been forgiven. Questions about Luke (return to top of page) On the cross, why did Jesus say, “Father, forgive them?” (Father, forgive them?)

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Why Did Jesus Say, ‘Father, Forgive Them’?

“Father, forgive them, for they are unaware of what they are doing,” states the ESV version of Luke 23:34. According to the Gospel of Luke, these were the first of our Lord’s last words said while hanging on the cross. An odd answer to the situation at hand, as Jesus, an innocent man (1 Peter 2:22), was condemned to death by hanging on a Roman cross for his crimes. It was a mode of death that historians can only describe as “the most humiliating, horrible, and awful way to die,” according to their findings.

  1. With the arrival of these words of sympathy and pity in the ears of Jesus’ own executioners – Roman soldiers below who were unfazed by the surrounding bodies, which had been gravely scarred and exposed — the impact of this passage is heightened.
  2. His own kinsmen, who had just completed thrashing Him, taunting Him, and spitting in His face before giving Him over to the Roman guard, were the ones who had beaten Him.
  3. “Crucify Him!” they insisted, despite the evidence.
  4. He goes on to remark that their insistence was due to their ignorance (Acts 3:17).

Why Did Jesus Say, ‘Father, Forgive Them’?

After learning more about the procedure of ancient Roman crucifixion, it is astonishing to imagine that the world’s Greatest Defender was never discovered to be defending his own innocence or even retaliating against His worthy accusers with a vengeance. It was instead found that the One who had come to save, having been abandoned by God at this very time (Mark 15:34), was interceding for the souls who had placed Him there, imploring with them not to be abandoned as well. But why is this so? Only by looking at the surrounding context of Scripture can we discern that there are several reasons why Jesus would recite a pleading prayer of forgiveness in the manner in which he did.

It’s Who He Is

Jesus, who was born of God and clothed in human form, was without the sin nature that plagued mankind (Luke 1:35). He could not and did not live within the bonds of resentment, bitterness, hatred, or even self-centeredness as a result of His truly holy nature, which existed within the confines of His own humanity. This was a side effect of His truly holy nature, which existed within the confines of His own humanity. His prayer was the prayer of a free man, someone who isn’t dominated by a sin-filled and emotionally charged reaction that comes to him without his knowledge.

As a result, it was only appropriate that we should have a high priest who was spotless, blameless, and unblemished, who was isolated from sinners and raised above the skies (Hebrews 7:26).

It’s What He Does

Jesus, who is sinless and free from the consequences of sin, is eternally an advocate for sinners (1 John 2:1), constantly present to intercede on their behalf (Hebrews 7:25). And, as the one and only mediator between God and humanity, it is only natural that Jesus should do precisely that, by praying for those who have transgressed against God (1 Timothy 2:5). I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me,” says the apostle Paul (John 6:38).

It’s Why He Came

Jesus came as a man with a mission, one of which was to remove the justification of ignorance from society (Acts 17:30). He also came knowing that He would suffer (Acts 3:18) and that He would have to die for those who were still sinners (see John 3:16-17). (Romans 5:8). What is the reason behind this? Because it was only His blood that could satisfy the requirements for receiving God’s everlasting forgiveness and reconciliation (1 John 4:9-10). This was the type of forgiveness that Jesus was praying for from the cross – the forgiveness of all who believe in him.

Not only for those who stood before Him on that particular day, but for the entire world (1 John 2:2).

It’s What God’s People Were Waiting For

This prayer, in which Jesus interceded for His transgressors, was a fulfillment of an Old Testament prophesy that had been promised by the prophet Isaiah hundreds of years before. This prayer, particularly from the cross, would have served as a confirmation of His identity to people who had been looking forward to the coming of their beloved messiah, as predicted by the prophets of God. We do this because, while he poured out his soul to death and was classed among the transgressors, he bore the sin of many and intercedes on their behalf (Isaiah 53:12).

It’s What He Taught

The prayer of Jesus is an example of our Lord putting into practice what He preached. No lesson was imparted to anybody by Him that He was not also prepared to put into practice himself. Some of Christ’s teachings that we see reflected in His prayer include the importance of loving your adversaries and praying for those who have abused you, among other things (Luke 6:27-28). In addition, we should always pray for that one (Luke 18:1). These are themes that we find repeated throughout the New Testament, and they are plainly demonstrated when Christ prayed in the face of His foes, as well as the presence of death itself.

It’s the Church’s Example to Follow

In Ephesians 5:1, Paul exhorts the members of the Church of Ephesus to follow in the footsteps of God. While Peter’s appeal to Christians is to be holy in all that they do, “just as he who called us is holy,” the phrase “just as he who called us is holy” might be confusing (1 Peter 1:15). Christians, of course, do not live this out on their own, but rather by the power of regeneration, sanctification, and reliance on the Holy Spirit. It is this kind of fruit that can be observed immediately in the early church’s history.

  1. It is just a few chapters later that Stephen’s narrative concludes, as he utters his last, yet familiar, words from beneath the crushing weight of rocks: “Lord, do not hold this sin against them” (Acts 7:59-60).
  2. It looks like a road that has previously been traveled has been made simpler to follow.
  3. No one, beloved, was more aware of the happiness that had been prepared for Him than He who had come from heaven.
  4. First and foremost, because of who He is and what He has come to do, but also because His Church has been called and equipped to do the same thing.

“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. I have made known to you all I have heard from my Father.” The fact is that you did not pick me; rather, I chose and appointed you, so that you may go and bear fruit and that your fruit might endure” (John 15:12-16).

Jesus’ Ministry Opened and Closed with Prayed

Praying had marked the beginning of his public ministry (Luke 3:21), and here we find him concluding it with prayer. He has, without a doubt, set an example for us! Due to the nails inflicted on his hands and feet, He would no longer have the ability minister to the sick; He would no longer be able to transport himself on missions of mercy because his feet were nailed to the cruel tree; He would no longer be able to instruct the apostles because they had abandoned Him and fled. So, what does He do to keep himself occupied?

  • What an important lesson for us to learn.
  • If Christ prayed for his murderers, certainly we have reason to be encouraged to pray for the absolute worst of sinners right now!
  • If continuing to pray for that guy, that lady, or that wayward kid of yours seems like an unnecessary waste of time, consider this: Does their situation appear to be becoming more bleak with each passing day?
  • That person for whom you have prayed for so long may have fallen prey to one of the Satanic cults of the day, or he may have become an outspoken atheist, in other words, a clear adversary of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
  • Christ prayed for those who opposed him.
  • Another viewpoint on Christ’s prayer for us is worth mentioning.
  • This prayer of Christ on the cross for his enemies was greeted with a clear and unequivocal response.
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This conclusion is based on Acts 3:17, where the apostle Peter states, “And now, brethren, I know that you behaved in ignorance, as did likewise your rulers,” which I believe to be correct.

Instead of Peter’s oratory skills, the Savior’s prayer was the driving force behind the event.

Pink’s The Seven Sayings of the Saviour on the Cross, 1.

Further reading may be found at: Exactly what is the significance of Jesus’ final words said on the cross?

Who Is to Blame for the Death of Jesus?

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With the aid of God’s continuous grace, she now enjoys assisting others in better understanding their Bibles while also serving as a champion for biblical church integrity.

As a mother of three and a wife of 13 years, she posts less frequently than she would like, but she does offer Scriptural insights, encouraging truth, resources, and musings more frequently at Beloved Warrior, where she also shares a variety of thoughts.

What ‘Father, Forgive Them’ Teaches Us about Radical Forgiveness

The moment when Jesus utters his first of seven sentences from the cross, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do,” is perhaps the most gracious and really sad of the entire story (Luke 23:34). The Romans, on the other hand, were not the only ones who were responsible for nailing Jesus on the cross. It is our sin that has resulted in the crucifixion of our Savior, which is unquestionably the most loving sacrifice ever made and a model of the prayer that we should all hold close to our hearts in our daily lives.

What Is the Meaning of ‘Father, Forgive Them’?

Let’s take it step by step: “Father:” We find Jesus utilizing a well-known word to demonstrate the close relationship He had with God the Father in this passage. “My God, my God, why have you left me?” says Jesus later, in contrast to the earlier words. (Matthew 27:46; Mark 10:45). For three hours, the sky will be dark and the earth will be silent, signaling a shift in the nature of the relationships. With Jesus’ final words from the cross, “Father, into your hands I entrust my spirit,” we realize that this relationship has been restored (Luke 23:46).

We are pardoned as a result of Jesus’ gruesome and excruciating death on the cross.

Clearly, Jesus is pleading with those who were directly responsible for nailing Him to the crucifixion, i.e., Pilate and the Romans as well as Jewish leaders and others who jeered at Him, to accept His forgiveness.

What Is the Context ofLuke 23:34?

In this chapter, by the time we get to verse 34, Jesus has already been through the so-called “trial” of the Jewish leaders, multiple scourgings, Pilates’ verdict, and he’s now been nailed to the cross, hanging between two criminals who were being justly punished (according to Jewish law at the time) for their crimes. During his humiliating and hurting hang-out, his garments are being traded in exchange for money since the leaders despise him and do not care about him. In spite of this, we watch compassion emanate from Jesus as He pleads with our heavenly Father to pardon us.

When was the last time someone placed you in a situation that was so awful that you thought there was no way you were going to make it out alive?

Even if we are totally correct in our assessment of the circumstance, we must exercise caution to avoid turning our anger into bitterness.

He was without sin, and death was an unavoidable consequence. But He nevertheless asks the Father to forgive them: “Father, forgive them.” The cross is the starting point. Faced with the prospect of death. The agony was unbearable and terrible. As a result, He has chosen to forgive.

What Does ‘Father, Forgive Them’ Teach Us about Radical Forgiveness?

We can follow Jesus’ ultimate forgiveness prayer because he gives it for us. When Jesus is really bleeding and struggling for breath as he pulls his bruised and shattered body up on the spikes in his feet and wrists, and the first words He speaks are, “I forgive you,” how can we possibly say no? In Scripture after Scripture, we are reminded of the significance of forgiveness. When we pray, we should ask God to forgive anybody with whom we have a grudge so that we might be forgiven ourselves, according to Mark 11:25.

  • It is through the blood of Jesus, shed on the cross, that we have been rescued.
  • We’re talking about profound forgiveness here.
  • We’re enraged about the books people are reading, as well as the fact that someone has the audacity to disagree with the way we perceive the world.
  • What would it be like to live in a world where we follow this example and really do something about it?
  • Despite the fact that He might have ascended to heaven at any moment, Jesus, our Lord and Savior and God manifested in flesh, chose to forgive and to bear our sin so that we could spend eternally with Him in heaven.
  • Forgiveness on a grand scale.
  • Because it states in John 13:35 that the world will know we are His disciples by our love, we should follow this instruction.

A Prayer for Us to Forgive as Jesus Has

What justification do we have for refusing to forgive people who we believe have wronged us? Our response to being insulted, deceived, scorned, and harmed might be modeled after Jesus’ modest yet powerful prayer. Jesus’ prayer is intercessory in nature, which means that He prays on behalf of other people. He carried the sin of many and interceded on their behalf, according to the prophecy of Isaiah 53:12: “.Because He poured out His soul to death and was counted among the transgressors, yet He bore the sin of many and interceded on their behalf” (ESV).

  • After all, the Scriptures declare that wrath belongs to the Lord, and that He will recompense those who wrong Him (seeDeuteronomy 32:35).
  • In Matthew 6:5-14, Christ instructs us on how to pray, which is known as the Lord’s Prayer.
  • Because we must seek for forgiveness of ourselves, as well as forgiveness from those who have wronged us.
  • Jesus gave us the directions (ask for forgiveness and forgive others) as well as the example (ask for forgiveness and forgive others) (intercede on the behalf of others).
  • Because our King has risen from the dead, he is still alive.
  • It is simple to live in the forgiveness for which Jesus died, but it is more difficult at times to share that forgiveness with others.
  • May we be inspired by His example.

Continuing Your Education When Jesus was on the cross, he made an incredible request: “Father, forgive them.” Photograph courtesy of Getty Images/Lisa Valder Bethany Jett has received several awards for her books and marketing initiatives, and she is in high demand as a speaker for women and teenagers.

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Why did Jesus pray ‘Father, forgive them’ from the cross?

Several times during His crucifixion, Jesus spoke out loud. In Luke 23:34, Jesus says, “Father, forgive them, for they do not realize what they are doing.” This is the first of His words. When Jesus prayed “Father, forgive them” from the cross, He was putting into practice what He had proclaimed. Jesus had taught in Matthew 5:43–44, and he stated, “According to what you have heard, “You shall love your friend and hate your adversary.” But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.

  • He prayed to God that He might be forgiven by His assassins, even as they were executing him.
  • As a result of Christ’s suffering on your behalf and the example he provided, you have been asked to follow in his footsteps “(1 Peter 2:20–21; 2 Peter 3:18).
  • After Jesus’ execution and resurrection, we observe that Stephen, who was being stoned, followed in the footsteps of Jesus by following Christ’s example.
  • And as soon as he said this, his body fell asleep “(See Acts 7:59–60.) Father, forgive them” explains the goal of Jesus’ death, which was to make atonement for sins so that they may be forgiven.
  • He did not have any sins to confess.
  • Luke 23:33–34 is the complete quote from Jesus on the cross, which may be read in context: “He and the two convicts, one on his right and one on his left, were crucified when they arrived at the location known as The Skull, where they were executed.
  • They would have had no notion who He was if He hadn’t told them.
  • It is possible that they were harsh because they did not realize He was an innocent man, let alone the Son of God, when they attacked Him.
  • In addition, the Jewish leadership operated in ignorance.

They should have been able to identify Him, but they were unable to: “Due to the fact that they did not recognize him and did not understand the prophets’ utterances, which are read every Sabbath, those who live in Jerusalem and their rulers have fulfilled them by condemning him, as a result of their failure to do so.

  1. Later, the apostles preached that both the people and the leaders might be forgiven for their sins, which the people accepted.
  2. God, on the other hand, accomplished what he had predicted through the mouths of all the prophets, namely, that his Christ would suffer.
  3. You are required to pay attention to everything he has to say.
  4. In Luke 23:39–43, we witness God’s mercy offered to one of the convicts who was hanging close on a cross; he had initially mocked Jesus but afterwards changed his mind and accepted redemption.
  5. Even among the soldiers at the foot of the cross, a centurion spoke a proclamation of nascent faith (John 19:41).
  6. Although Jesus’ plea, “Father, forgive them,” did not result in forgiveness for those who did not repent and believe in Him, it did demonstrate the compassion and kindness that were inherent in Him.
  7. As Spurgeon correctly observed, “It was not a prayer for his adversaries who had done him wrong years earlier, but rather for those who were present and then murdered him in the street.
  8. 897, October 24, 1869, at the Metropolitan Tabernacle in Newington, London).
  9. What are the meanings of Christ’s last seven statements, and what are they about?

Who has responsibility for the killing of Jesus Christ? What exactly does it mean that Jesus stood in our shoes? Is it more necessary to remember Jesus’ death than to remember His resurrection? Return to the page: The Truth About Jesus Christ.

Why did Jesus say Father, forgive them?

What was Jesus thinking when he said, “Father, pardon them because they know not what they do.” as he was hanging on the cross? The reason why Jesus said “Father forgive them.” must be understood before we can answer the questions about how and why he came to earth in the first place. One of the primary reasons (among many) that Jesus came to Earth in the flesh was so that all of mankind may have their sins washed away and have the opportunity to be at one with Him and the Father in heaven.

  • Even though they were aware of all the predictions concerning the Savior, the Jewish leaders who executed Jesus were oblivious to the reality of who He truly was.
  • Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane is a biblical figure.
  • In this case, what was illegal was that the Jews held the trial at night with fictitious witnesses, a “kangaroo court,” if you will, since they were afraid of the general public.
  • And when they arrived to the location known as Calvary (also known as Golgotha or the site of the skull), they executed Him there.
  • The disciples begged God the Father to pardon them for their guilt since they had been tricked and did not comprehend what they were doing while they were murdering him.
  • When that time comes, repentance will be offered to the world.
  • The fulfillment of this prophesy occurred in 70 A.D., when Roman armies captured the city, devastated it, and burnt down the Temple of Zeus.
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In order for every knee to bow at the name of Jesus, every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father; therefore, God (the Father) has also highly exalted Him and bestowed upon Him a name that is above every name; that at the name of Jesus, all knees should bow, of beings in heaven and on earth and under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father (Philippians 2:9 – 11).

It is written in the eleventh chapter of Romans that the Apostle Paul declares that God will not reject or put away His people (Israelites and Jews) whom He has predestined in the end.

May it never come to that!

God did not turn His back on His people, who He had foreknew.

Those who killed Christ will have their spiritual blindness removed from their hearts at what the Bible refers to as the second resurrection, and they will be given the opportunity to repent.

1. Father, Forgive Them (Luke 23:34)

Dr. Ralph F. Wilson contributed to this article. acoustic (14:55) James J. Tissot’s opaque watercolor “The First Nail” (1886-1894), on display at the Brooklyn Museum. Image in its entirety.” 32 His execution was joined by two other individuals, both of whom were felons, who were also carried out to be killed. 33When they arrived at the Skull, they nailed him to the cross beside the criminals – one on his right and the other on his left – and nailed him to the cross. 34 He then pleaded with the Father: “Father, pardon them since they do not understand what they are doing.” And then they divided up his garments by drawing names from a hat.” (Luke 23:32-34; Matthew 23:32-34; Mark 12:32-34) The scenario around and around the cross is cynical and unfeeling in its execution.

  • Perhaps this squad will have already performed a number of crucifixions this week, if not more.
  • For starters, they nail the culprit to a cross and hoist him up, swaying the cross forward and back until it is fixed with wedges at the bottom to keep it upright in the pit, which is a terrible operation.
  • They use gambling to pass the time, determining who will be awarded the victim’s remaining things through a lottery drawn from a hat.
  • But in the midst of it all, the “criminal” on the central cross says something incredible and powerful: “Father, pardon them, for they have no idea what they are doing.” (See also Luke 23:34a.)

An Unselfish Prayer

Remove yourself from the reading situation for a while and recite the following line aloud, paying attention to your own voice as you pronounce the words: “Father, forgive them; they do not understand what they are doing.” (See also Luke 23:34a.) What is it that Jesus is saying? In his final hour, Jesus is saying a petition to God Almighty, making a request of the Almighty. It is noteworthy, however, that Jesus is not requesting anything for himself! I would be afraid and overwhelmed, anxiously attempting to maintain my poise and dignity.

He is concerned about the individuals who were responsible for his crucifixion and he begs God to pardon them for their actions.

The first thing I take away from this word is the concept of love.

Father -a term of trust, confidence, and endearment

However, his affection is not limited to those basic military functionaries who nailed him on the cross in the first place. He expresses to God himself a tender affection in his prayer. He expresses his love for the one One who can save him at the very time he begins the lengthy journey of death via great suffering. He is speaking to God himself, who is the only One who can save him. He does not talk for himself, but on behalf of others. And he expresses himself with affection. Consider the use of the term “Father” in this prayer, as well as the alternative words.

  1. “Lord” is a title of honor and respect reserved for those who have risen to a position of prominence.
  2. At the tragic hour of one’s crucifixion, the phrase “Almighty God” could seem a little too formal, but it would convey God’s immense strength.
  3. It is a phrase used inside the family.
  4. It is also the cry of the Holy Spirit who dwells inside us, assisting us in our efforts to call out to God (Romans 8:15; Galatians 4:6).
  5. And he extends the invitation to us to do the same.
  6. In Matthew 6:9, Jesus says By opening his prayer with the word “Father,” Jesus shows both love and confidence, as well as a sense of trust in the Father.

One who doubts may assemble a long list of God’s attributes in order to strengthen his wavering faith, while one who addresses him simply as “Father” knows him, trusts him, and is sure in the outcome.

Who Does the “Them” Refer To?

Take a look at the prayer once more: “Father, pardon them, for they have no idea what they are doing.” (See also Luke 23:34a.) Jesus asks the Father to pardon “them,” or those who have wronged him. How does he know who “they” are for whom he prays? Let’s have a look at the possibilities. Soldiers. He might be interceding for the Roman troops who executed men on this place on a regular basis during the time of Christ. They took a human life, violently and without sympathy, but they were not the ones who took the initiative to do it.

  • They were only doing their jobs as instructed.
  • It’s possible that the troops were the ones he was forgiving.
  • He had given the order for the crucifixion in direct violation of all applicable laws.
  • Despite this, the Jewish leaders’ pressure and his fear of a riot “forced” him to go against his better judgment in order to avoid a riot.
  • Perhaps Jesus was extending forgiveness to Pilate because of the flaws in his character.
  • It wasn’t long before they decided to assassinate Jesus after he had cleaned the temple of their rapacious traffic in animals and money changing at exorbitant exchange rates (Matthew 21:15, 23, 45-46; 26:3-4).
  • It’s possible that Jesus was extending forgiveness to the chief priests and scribes.

Both of them were upset by Jesus’ straightforward message on the Kingdom of God.

The Pharisees were the first to actively plot Jesus’ assassination, according to the Bible (Matthew 12:14).

Some may be plotting to assassinate him.

It’s possible that the Pharisees and Sadducees were the ones who heard his pleading for forgiveness.

Nevertheless, when you stop to think about it, we are the ones who sent Jesus to the crucifixion in the first place – our faults and corruptibility as well as our frailty and pettiness.

He informs us that the entrance to eternal life is extremely narrow – so tight that only a small number of people manage to reach it on their own (Matthew 7:13-14).

Jesus is not deceived in any way.

When Jesus explains it to his followers, he does it with the clearest clarity: “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Matthew 10:45) You and I were the ones who made the cross necessary.

We are the ones he is pleading with God to pardon.

Did We Know What We Were Doing?

Is it only when people don’t know what they’re doing that they can be forgiven? God’s response is “Father, forgive them, for what they are doing is beyond their comprehension.” (See also Luke 23:34a.) Does God hold those who put Jesus to death accountable for their sins? Oh, yes, I see what you mean. He is a just and merciful God. Yet, despite having witnessed Jesus’ miracles and hearing the Truth spoken by the Son of God himself, they continued to seek his death. There was more than enough rope to hang them in the fullest sense of the word.

  1. Their hearts were tainted with corruption.
  2. That was something they lacked.
  3. (1) 1 Corinthians 2:8; (see also Acts 3:17) Paul himself, who persecuted Christians to the point of death, did so because he simply couldn’t comprehend what was going on.
  4. Yes, each of us has plenty enough sin to condemn us.
  5. He has made a way that we do not deserve, because he knows that if we really knew the truth, we would embrace his Son.

What Does It Mean to Forgive?

This brings me to the final point posed by this saying: what exactly does it mean to forgive someone else? The Greek term isaphimi has the fundamental sense of “to send away,” and it is used to describe this action. The term appears frequently in Greek commercial papyrus pieces from the time period with the meaning of “releasing from legal or moral responsibility or consequence, canceling, remitting, pardoning,” according to the definition. 1 The term was used in legal papers to express the removal of a person from a position of authority, the termination of a marriage contract, or the cancellation of a debt that was owed.

The Lord’s Prayer begs God to forgive us our debts – just as we forgive others their debts for offenses committed against us – and to forgive us our sins.

An Ellis J.

And now I’m singing that fresh new song, Amazing Grace, since Jesus paid the debt that I would never be able to pay.” 3 That pretty much sums up the situation.

“Father, forgive them,” he cries out to his Father, completely unafraid of the intensity of his love or the genuineness of his Sonship – “Father, forgive them.” As a result, we offer the following prayer: Father, pardon us.


Father, please accept our apologies. We were completely unaware of the depths to which we had descended. And we are just now beginning to comprehend the depth of your affection for us, which has existed since the beginning of time. We beg you to forgive us of our debt of sin to you. Not because we deserve it, but because of your tremendous kindness, which was exposed by the cross, we are forgiven. Because we are praying in the name of Jesus, who died on the cross in order to achieve precisely this result.

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Question for Personal Meditation

  1. What is the most common phrase you use to contact God? Why? What impact may it have on your faith if you started addressing God in your prayers as “Father” instead? Describe how you believe it would assist you in better understanding your connection with God. Why is it possible to see your sin as a debt that you owe God? What is the best way to get out of a debt like that? What justification does God have for forgiving this debt of sin? What does being aware of one’s sin have to do with receiving Jesus’ forgiveness? What amount of understanding did the assassins of Jesus have of what they were doing? Who was the person most responsible for the death of Jesus? Is it our job to take responsibility for Jesus’ death on the cross?


Aphimi, BDAG 156, and Aphimi, BDAG 161. 2nd, Rudolf Bultmann, aphimi, ktl., TDNT 1:509-512 Ellis J. Crum wrote the words and composed the music for “He Paid a Debt He Did Not Owe,” which was published in 1977 by Ellis J. Crum, Publisher; administered by Sacred Music, a Trust. 2022, Copyright, Intellectual Property, Pastor Ralph F. Wilson’s website is joyfulheart.com. All intellectual property rights are retained. This article is available for free in a single copy. This should not be posted on a website.

Jesus’ Incredible Request on the Cross: “Father, Forgive Them”

As he recounts the historical events surrounding the crucifixion, Luke provides us with several opportunities to realize that Jesus is the Christ who saves us. It might occur when we see Jesus’ crucifixion and realize that he has been pierced as a result of our sins. It may happen if we witness him dangling between two robbers and realize that he is among those who have transgressed against the law. It might occur when we see him naked and despised, or it could occur when we see the symbol proclaiming his kingdom, among other things.

The image is courtesy of Getty Images/Tinnakorn Jorruang.

Why Does Jesus Say “Father Forgive Them”?

When he says these words, King Jesus expresses his compassion and indicates that he is in the business of forgiving sinners. During the time when the King of the Jews extends his royal pardon, he provides the most visible demonstration of his divine and redeeming mercy. We frequently say that it is human to make mistakes, but that it is divine to forgive. As a result, there is heavenly forgiveness. The Savior reveals the forgiveness that he was dying to provide in crucifiedlove. Interestingly, it appears that these remarks were said at the exact moment that the soldiers were nailing Jesus to the crucifixion.

  • There had never been such agony as when physical and spiritual evil conspired against Jesus at the same time in such a horrific way.
  • Because of the immediate shock of the crucifixion, he had become immobile and shivering.
  • And a spiritual terror of far greater proportion drew in on him: he would soon become sin.” It was at this very moment that Jesus begged for the forgiveness of his enemies, exactly as the nails were piercing his hands and feet and the cross was put into the earth.
  • C.
  • This is a fascinating fact in and of itself.

But even in the midst of his most intense anguish, Jesus had the fortitude to pray—not only for himself, but for others as well. Given that Jesus was always in prayer, this was his natural reaction when faced with adversity, as it should be ours when faced with adversity. Image courtesy of Pixabay

Did the Romans Really Not Know What They Were Doing?

Using these words, King Jesus expresses his compassion and says that he is in the business of forgiving sinners. In offering his royal pardon, the King of the Jews provides the most tangible demonstration of his divine and redemptive mercy. We frequently say that it is human to make mistakes, but it is divine to forgive. Now we have heavenly forgiveness on our hands. Crucifixion Love is the announcement of the pardon that Jesus was dying to provide. Interestingly enough, these remarks appear to have been delivered right before the soldiers nailed Jesus on the cross.

  • “It was the beginning of the cosmic trauma.” As physical and spiritual evil conspired against Jesus in a horrible confluence, there had never before been such agony.
  • He had been rendered immobilized and shivering by the initial shock of the crucifixion, which had occurred.
  • A spiritual terror of far greater proportion pressed in on him: he would soon become sin.” When the nails were piercing Jesus’ hands and feet, and the cross was pushed into the ground, it was at that very moment that he pleaded for forgiveness for his enemies.
  • C.
  • In the midst of his most difficult struggle, Jesus found the strength to pray—not for himself, but for others around him.
  • Pixabay is credited with the photo.

Why Do We All Need God’s Forgiveness?

This may explain why Jesus left his prayer so open-ended: he intended to extend an invitation to everyone who heard his words to come forward and receive forgiveness from him and his Father. Every one of us may tailor his generic appeal to our own specific need for forgiveness, because it was broad enough to include everyone. Charles Spurgeon praised this prayer for its “indistinctness,” stating that it was one of his favorites. In other words, Jesus prayed for “them” without explicitly specifying who exactly was included in the phrase “them.” As a result, even while this prayer definitely refers directly to the men who executed Jesus, it should not be restricted to their use in its application in the first place.

  1. With the word ‘them’ in mind, Spurgeon observed, “I feel as though I can crawl now inside that pronoun “them.” Is it possible for you to go in there?
  2. They have listened to Jesus’ petition and have dared to believe that God would show them mercy as a result of it.
  3. Maybe he did this because he heard Jesus pray for the forgiveness of his enemies.
  4. The Savior’s petition was beginning to be heard and fulfilled.
  5. In the book of Acts, we are told that “a great many of the priests became obedient to the faith,” according to Luke (Acts 6:7).
  6. Furthermore, Jesus has been reciting this prayer ever since, interceding on their behalf for the people he killed in order to save them.

He is praying from the throne in the same manner in which he prayed from the crucifixion on Good Friday. He “always lives to make intercession,” according to the Scriptures (Heb. 7:25). “Father, pardon,” Jesus is pleading with the Father. Photograph courtesy of Getty Images/Sinenkiy

What Makes This Verse So Powerful?

It has great power because it is addressed to the Father, who is none other than God Almighty, the first Person of the Trinity and the source of all creation. As a result of the prayer being prayed by the Chosen One, Jesus the Son, the Christ of God, it has tremendous power. In other words, we are seeing a dialogue that takes place inside the holy and everlasting Trinity. Is it possible that when the Son prays to the Father, his plea will not get an answer? When Jesus himself stated that the Father “always hears the Son,” it was a powerful statement (John 11:42).

  1. Consider the fact that this prayer was made from the cross, implying that when Jesus uttered it, he was establishing the ground for our forgiveness on his own behalf.
  2. During his time on the crucifixion, Jesus was praying—on the exact cross where he was bleeding and dying under the curse of God’s anger, experiencing the righteous punishment that our crimes deserved.
  3. The fact that the priests and soldiers were insulting Jesus at that same moment was a tragic irony, to say the least.
  4. “What kind of ruler would be assassinated?” they wondered.
  5. According to their reasoning, Jesus could not rescue himself from this disgraceful death, and thus could not save anybody else either.
  6. Even if some persons despised his death, it was this death that enabled him to pray with such authority.
  7. His death is a sacrifice for our sins.
  8. Certainly, the forgiveness of sins is at the heart of what the cross is all about.
  9. Because of his kingly intervention and the costly price of his royal blood, we have been rescued from our perilous situation.

As We Were Forgiven…

A significant reason for its potency is that it is addressed to God the Father, who is none other than God Almighty, the First Person of the Trinity. As a result of the prayer being prayed by the Chosen One, Jesus the Son, the Christ of God, it is extremely effective. A discussion that takes place inside the holy and everlasting Trinity, then, is presented here. As a Son, how is it possible that his petition will not be answered by the Father? Hears the Son at all times, according to Jesus, who himself stated this (John 11:42).

  1. Also keep in mind that this prayer was uttered from the cross, implying that as Jesus prayed it, he was laying the groundwork for our forgiveness.
  2. As Jesus prayed, God’s anger fell upon him on the cross, where he was bleeding and dying under the curse of God’s wrath, enduring the fair punishment that our crimes deserved.
  3. The fact that the priests and soldiers were mocking Jesus at the exact same time was tragically ironic.
  4. Their first reaction was, “What kind of monarch is killed?” “How can one determine what kind of Christ is crucified?” According to their reasoning, Jesus could not rescue himself from this disgraceful death, and hence could not save anybody else either.
  5. Because of his crucifixion, which some men despised, Jesus’ prayer was incredibly powerful.
  6. In order for us to be forgiven, he had to die.
  7. Indeed, the forgiveness of sins is at the heart of the cross’s mission.

By saying “Father, forgive,” Jesus demonstrated this in his final moments. Because of his kingly intervention and the costly price of his royal blood, we have been rescued from our perilous state. Source: Getty Images/ipopba for the photograph.


In Kent Hughes’ Luke: That You May Know the Truth, 2 vols., Preaching the Word (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Publishing, 1998), 2:378 is used as an example. JC Ryle’s Expository Thoughts on the Gospels, Luke (first published in 1858; reprinted in Cambridge by James Clarke in 1976), page 467. “Christ’s Plea for Ignorant Sinners,” Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit (Pasadena, TX: Pilgrim, n.d.), 38:318. Charles Spurgeon, “Christ’s Plea for Ignorant Sinners,” Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit (Pasadena, TX: Pilgrim, n.d.), 38:318.

Can God’s Forgiveness Be Extinctionally Broad?

He is a writer, editor, and public speaker who resides in the lovely state of Oregon.

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