“Father forgive them they do not know what they are doing.”
It is a very humbling yet blessed experience to read carefully the Gospels as they portray the crucifixion of our Lord. Our verse is the first of seven statements by Jesus from the cross.
This statement came at the very time the soldier was using the hammer to fix Jesus on the cross. Also this word was something Jesus said repeatedly.
We marvel at our Lord’s capacity to think of the needs of others when His own concerns shouted for His attention. He was suffering horribly physically. He had endured the desertion of His beloved followers. He had likely heard Peter vehemently denying Him. All the false witness against Him pierced His righteous soul. He endured rejection by His own nation and that was difficult to accept. Finally He was declared not guilty five times by Pilate and then Pilate delivered Him to death. That had its own exquisite torment.
Yet, in spite of the compounded sorrows and the soon coming desertion by God the Father, His loving heart was full of compassion on the evil men who coldly, ruthlessly, executed Him.
Jesus’ full attention ought to have been focussed on His own situation but instead He laid aside His issues and addressed the sin of His executioners.
Do you not see how attentive our Lord is to people in need? He seeks good for those who hate Him. He petitions the Father for grace in abundance to come to the soldiers—and even to the crowd around the cross who helped arrange His trial and death.
Now that Jesus is stationed in heaven at the Father’s right hand, does it not seem reasonable to you that He is presently petitioning the Father for sinners and saints alike? Matthew 11:19 refers to our Lord as the friend of sinners, and indeed He is.
Whatever your need, never think that Jesus is too busy with other things to notice you and give you help. He was never busier than when being executed, yet He still—even then—reached out to the needs of those around Him.
Come to Jesus with great confidence today, recognizing that His great heart has a loving concern for your welfare. He has never refused anyone who has sought Him with all their heart. Surely you can see that He desires to do you good. Come to Him and come today.