From my reading in Luke 23:26-56 in the One Year New Testament.
On the cross Jesus looked over the crowds of onlookers and soldiers who nailed him to the cross and said…
“Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” Luke 23:34
Jesus was thinking about the very people who put him on the cross. In a spiritual sense it was all of our sins that put Jesus on the cross and he still died for us! That’s love!
Jesus was thinking of our well being more than his pain.
Jesus asked the Father to give them grace because they didn’t realize the extent of the evil act they are truly committing.
As followers of Christ we should share this attitude about our enemies and those who try and persecute us. The first Martyr Stephen said a very similar thing as he was being stoned to death,
“Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” When he had said this, he fell asleep.” Acts 7:60
When we are filled with the Holy Spirit, he will give us the ability to love others the way Jesus loved. That’s exactly what happened with Stephen.
In his greatest pain Jesus showed the greatest extent of his love.
“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8
God loved us enough to die for us, and he offered forgiveness to the very people who crucified him if they would only receive it!
Have you received the forgiveness of Christ?
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