89. Heart to forgive.
"Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing." (Luke 23:34) They thought they were executing a man for blasphemy but little did they know that they unwittingly sacrificed the lamb of God, for the sins of the world! 'None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.' (1 Corinthians 2:8) Nevertheless, they were guilty of shedding innocent blood - both the Jews and Gentiles together, for he was not stoned to death, under the Jewish law but was crucified under the Roman law. 'This man was handed over to you by God's set purpose and foreknowledge ; and you with the help of the Gentiles, put him to death by nailing him to the cross.' (Acts 2:23) However, Jesus had a heart to forgive all his executioners, even though he was writhing in pain and agony, because he knew they were ignorant of the truth. But the rulers sneered at him on hearing him pray for them! (Vs 35) He lived by what he preached and didn't hesitate to forgive his opponents. He did so even without them asking for his forgiveness because his forgiveness was always unconditional. We have been forgiven too, even before we ever confessed our sins, but its only now that we have received this 'knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of sins'. (Luke 1:77) 'I want you to know that through Jesus Christ the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you.' (Acts 13:38) Why only through Christ? Because 'without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness.'(Hebrews 9:22) 'In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins in accordance with the riches of God's grace that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding.' (Ephesians 1:7) Let's count ourselves blessed today because we were forgiven! 'Blessed is he whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered.' (Psalm 32:1)Amen