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Words of Forgiveness from the Cross

Wendy Blight

Day: 32 | Plan: Luke

Today’s Reading: Luke 23:26-56

Luke 23:34 (NIV) Jesus said, ‘Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.’ And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.

Had we stood in the crowd that day, watching Jesus’ last hours on the cross, we would have heard Him speak seven last words revealing His heart, His pain and His purpose. The first of these words are the ones we study today from Luke 23:34.

After being … blindfolded, stripped, mocked and beaten, the soldiers forced Jesus to carry His own cross. Beaten so badly, when He could bear the weight of it no more, the Roman soldiers seized a man named Simon to carry Jesus’ cross for Him.

Father, forgive them.

They arrived at the place called Golgatha (the place of the Skull). Jesus’ executioners stretched Jesus out upon the cross. They took a hammer and drove spikes through the hands and feet of the King of kings and Lord of lords.

Father, forgive them.

Open your spiritual ears. Listen. Listen to the pound of the hammer, striking each and every spike—repeatedly—to ensure it would secure the King of Glory.

Father, forgive them.

The soldiers then swung the cross skyward, lifted it and locked it into place.

Jesus struggled to breathe. Each breath pure agony.

Father, forgive them.

Jesus died a humiliating death as observers watched and soldiers mocked and bargained for His clothes.

Father, forgive them.

The first words Jesus uttered from the cross were those of forgiveness. Words spoken … don’t miss this … after being nailed to the cross.

Our hearts cry out. Jesus, how can You forgive them? But isn’t forgiveness the point of the cross after all? For who of us has ever been wronged more than our Lord and Savior?

Jesus’ love rose above His intense suffering. It’s a love that exceeds all comprehension. A love willing to count the cost for you and for me.

Jesus cried out to His Father, the One who ordained this very moment in time. Jesus had a mission, and it was His time to fulfill it. He entrusted His life to His Father because He knew the end of the story. Jesus knew that His unimaginable suffering, His momentary separation from His Father would remove the crimson stain of sin, the curse of death, and purchase every spiritual blessing that is now ours in Christ.

Jesus knew the crown of thorns was the only way to the Crown of Glory!

Hallelujah! All praise and honor to the King of Glory. The Alpha and Omega. The Lamb of God. The Son of Righteousness. Emmanuel.

Prayer: Father, thank You for the cross. Sometimes I forget the magnitude of what You and Jesus lost so that I could gain everything. Thank You for the reminder through Luke’s words today. How grateful I am that Your Son’s blood flowed so that I can know Your love … a love so amazing, so divine. A love that demands my heart, my life, my soul. To You, Lord, I give my all today. In Jesus’ name, amen.

More Moments:

In Luke 23:34-46, Luke shares two powerful symbolic moments and Jesus’ last words from the... Read More

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