Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they
do not know what they are doing.”
Did you know that these were some of the last words Jesus ever said? And, as I read them, I can’t help but stand in awe. The most twisted, painful, heart wrenching moment in all of human history was taking place - man had placed God, Himself, on a cross – and in this moment of the most extreme suffering, I cannot believe that this was His response. It makes me wonder who exactly are “them” and “they?”
Jesus couldn’t possibly have been forgiving the men who nailed his hands and feet to the cross. Could He? Nor, could he have been forgiving the religious leaders who had forced Pilate to execute him. Right? I mean, how could He? They were His murders?
But, this is why Jesus is so breathtaking. This is exactly what He meant. He wanted God to forgive them, just as He already had. And, His grace didn’t stop there. His grace extends past the cross to the men who beat Him and whipped Him in Pilate’s courtyard. It extends to the crowd who traded Him for Barabbas. It extends to the soldiers who captured Him in the garden and, it extends to the very man who betrayed Him. Yet, it still doesn’t stop there. His grace transcends all time to reach you and I.
But, you know, these are more than simply beautiful words. They are a revelation of who Jesus really is. They show us His character, His purpose, and His willingness. In every moment of His torment, He chose to display love. He could have lashed out, but instead he retained his unblemished integrity. Even at the pinnacle of His pain, He never lost sight of His purpose.
Luke 19:10 says, “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost. “That is His purpose. You are His purpose. He came to seek you, rescue you, and forgive you so that He can experience all the life, love, and purpose He created you for. But, I know that can sometimes be hard to believe.
As girls, we had a really hard time looking at ourselves. We carry our insecurities with us every day and never feel as though we are quite good enough to receive grace of any kind. We rarely believe in ourselves, seldom have faith in ourselves, and rarely forgive ourselves for our mistakes. But, a life of self-loathing is not what Jesus intended for you.
Think about it. If Jesus was willing to give His life on the cross to save His own murders, no one is beyond the reach of His grace. When those in the crowd screamed, “Crucify!” Jesus cried, “Forgive!” No matter how many times they spit on Him, mocked Him, and turned away from Him, Jesus never turned His love away from them.
In the power of His words, we must see our worth, because He wouldn’t have fought so hard for someone who wasn’t worth saving. He literally bankrupted heaven in order to purchase you. 1 Peter 1:18-29 says, “For you know that God pa
id a ransom to save you from the empty life you inherited from your ancestors. And it was not paid with mere gold or silver, which lose their value. It was the precious blood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God.”
It’s time to see yourself through His eyes. Let go of your guilt, lay down your shame, and forget your pride. Listen closely as He speaks forgiveness and grace into your heart. Then, write a prayer asking Him, to help you forgive yourself.
He bankrupted heaven for you.