“Jesus said, ‘Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.’” (Luke 23:34)
These words are not out of character for Jesus from the Cross. This is Jesus’ character! This is what His coming was all about. He came to a world that virtually knew nothing of its Creator. Humankind has from the beginning not had much of an idea about what they were doing in relationship to God. We had not until Jesus came, gotten a real taste of what our God was like. All that the prophets said led to this very moment on the Cross when Jesus would sacrifice Himself for the sin of the world. And even here, in the actual action of God to save us, no one knew what was happening. No one really knew they were killing the Son of God on a Cross in accord with Scripture. They were doing what had to be done and yet they didn’t know it.
From that moment on the Cross, to every moment of our day, we hear Jesus asking, “Do you know what you are doing?” But even more he asks, “Do you know what was done?” Do we know that His sacrifice was for us? Do we know that He has given us the opportunity for new and eternal life? Do we know that all we have to do is respond with our confessing Him as our Lord and Savior to be with Him for eternity? Jesus sacrifice on the Cross is over, finished! Now is not the time to be ignorant of His work of salvation for us. Now is the time to embrace it, embrace Him, and rejoice in His gift of eternal forgiveness and new life. We confess Him, knowing the difference He brings to life.
Heavenly Father, open our eyes and hearts to know what You have done for us in Jesus’ sacrifice on the Cross. You planned that event to happen for us, to save us. We find it hard to comprehend Your loving us that much to sacrifice Your Son. Thank You for Your saving work and moving in our lives to confess Jesus as our Lord and Savior. Praise Your Holy Name! In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Pastor Robert Forsberg is retired from Light of Christ Lutheran Church in Fairborn.