“Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.” And the soldiers gambled for His clothes by throwing dice.”
An old pastor once said that you can tell what is in a man, when you step on his foot and see his reactions. Yet what’s your reaction if you are being falsely accused of something? Or greater still, what if you were being beaten, tortured and ridiculed, even though you have done nothing wrong, what would you do then? Jesus’ response…. To Love!
As the crowds gathered around Jesus mocking His divinity and soldiers gambled for His clothes, Jesus looked down from the cross upon the crowds and saw a people who needed His love and mercy. He cried out to the Father to forgive them, to have mercy on them and to release them from their debt of sin. “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing!” Of course the soldiers knew what they were doing in terms of ‘their job’. Yet perhaps what they didn’t know, was that they were crucifying the Son of God. Even in this situation, Jesus never gave up on loving His murderers. He still called for grace and still showed His love for the ‘sinners’. Even with His dying breath, Jesus’ desire was to seek and save those who were lost.
Today, many of us find ourselves in the shoes of the angry mob or even in the role of the Roman soldiers. We ridicule Jesus by our lifestyles and wrong choices, yet Jesus’ words, as He stands next to the Father, remain the same for us: Father, forgive them… Even when we consciously know that what we are doing is wrong, in grace and love, Jesus continues to intercede on our behalf, presenting Himself as the sacrifice for our sins. That is love. That is grace. That is the wondrous GOOD NEWS OF JESUS CHRIST.