Jesus said,“Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.”(Luke 23:34, emphasis added)
Mr. Sprenger reminds us, “This incredible request by Jesus, together with His suffering and death on the cross for the sins of the world, becomes the ultimate picture and the eternal symbol of the heart and intention of God toward lost humanity.” Let us also be reminded Christ’s obedience to death on a cross was determined before the foundation of the world.
Christ Jesus suffered humiliating and torturous punishment at the hands of His people and of the government. A few days earlier a crowd greeted Him as He entered into Jerusalem on the back of a donkey’s colt. The crowd cheered and sang “Hosanna” to Him and made His path into the city a path of victory on palm fronds. The Temple leaders; that is the Sanhedrin; the Pharisees, the Sadducees, the Zealots and other factions, turned away from their Messiah and whipped the crowd into hating their King. Trickery and false testimony were used to persuade the people to convict Him of blasphemy. Pontius Pilate was a weak Governor over Israel and of Jerusalem. His interests were self serving. He wanted to keep his position and status. He judged the King and found no crime to punish, but he listened instead to the voices of the Sanhedrin and those voices of the people chanting, “Crucify Him, Crucify Him!” Christ stood convicted and sentenced. Christ Jesus carried a cross to Calvary. The people He loved spit at Him and cursed Him. He was mercilessly mocked. All of this abuse laid on Him over a few hours time. “Father, forgive them. They don’t know what they are doing.”
Sing praise to heaven and give honor to Christ the King. He forgives those who hate Him. He forgives those who follow corrupted men. He forgives corrupted men. He forgives all men. Jesus came into the world to forgive the sin of the world, all of the sins of the world. The men and women who championed His betrayal and those who exercised their hatred of Him upon His body are forgiven. Can we say the Father of the Son refused to give to His Son what His Son seeks? “Father forgive them…!” This is Impartial Grace.