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Jesus - "Father Forgive Them"

By R.B. Jones


      Golgotha is the place where the contrast between the Savior's heart of grace and man's heart of rebellion is most striking. Golgotha is the focal point of revelation and history and experience. There God did His best and man did his worst. There faith is justified, hope assured, and love conquers.

      Crucifixion was the invention of depraved minds determined to make death as painful as possible. . . . No one ever thought of this as the perfect place for prayer.

      But the first word of Jesus was a prayer--and His fourth, and His seventh! . . . Notice that He did not pray, "Father, forgive Me." He was the spotless Lamb, without blemish, being offered for the sin of the world. He knew it.

      The phrase of His praying that stirs my heart more than all else can only be seen in the Greek original. "Then Jesus said" might be changed to "Then Jesus kept saying," for the verb is imperfect, indicating continuous action in past time. . . .

      Can you reconstruct the picture?

      Arriving at the place of the skull, Jesus looked about and prayed, "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do." As the centurion crushed Him to the ground and tied His arms to the crossbeam, He prayed, "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do." When the blunt spikes tore through each quivering palm, He prayed, "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do." When they elevated Him to the cross, He prayed, "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do." When the crowd cursed and reviled, He prayed, "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do." When the soldiers parted His garments and gambled for the seamless robe, He prayed, "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do." How many times that prayer pierced heaven's blue that day no one knows. It was not an ejaculatory petition shot into heaven in a moment of mercy. Rather the Surety was storming the Throne of Grace with a barrage of burning appeal. Jesus kept saying, "Father, forgive them . . . "

      . . . The One who prayed like that is the One I need and want for my Savior.   

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