Word #1 – Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided up his clothes by casting lots. Luke 23:34
The first word of the Cross came from Jesus as he was watching the people cast lots for his dirty and bloody clothing – certainly a strange sight on that miserable Friday afternoon. People were rolling dice and picking the shortest sticks over these clothes, while the Messiah of all ages hangs bleeding on the Cross about to die for the sins of the world. Did they really understand what they were spending their time doing? Notice Christ’s words as he begins to speak. The first word is “Father.” Yes, everyone needs a Father. Everyone needs the strength, the ability and the presence of a Father. This was true of Jesus as well, and He begins word one from the Cross by saying, “Father.”
Immediately following the word “Father,” he uses the word “forgive.” While we have all sinned deliberately against God, men also sin out of ignorance and surely this was true in this scene. The consequences of sin alienate us from God. They were not just sinning against the Son of God…they were in ignorance alienating themselves from Him.
Many people try to suppress their feelings of bitterness and ill will. They mask and cover their emotions and feelings as though this is a permanent solution. Forgiveness is the real answer. Forgiveness is something we all need divine strength to exercise. A non-forgiving spirit will always keep us in bondage, and God wants us to have spiritual victory. In reflecting on word one of the cross, we have to recognize the fact that Jesus modeled for us what it meant to rely on the Heavenly Father for strength in a difficult hour and to offer forgiveness to those who deliberately hurt us. If this was possible then, it is possible now! Do you need to run to the Heavenly Father today and forgive someone?
Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided up his clothes by casting lots. Luke 23:34
Word #1 from the Cross
by Dave Childers