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I believe John 3:16 that God SO loved us that He gave His only Son that's a lot of love. This is the kind of love that it takes to express that kind of forgiveness. Not some things but, ALL things. It is truth that as he said forgive them for they know not what they do. When we do forgive we are unaware of what we are doing to ourselves and everyone involved with us. Forgiveness is freedom and peace of mind, spirit, body and soul. I choose to forgive that is what Christ desires of us. Rosa Jones
Jesus was asking the Father to forgive the rejection of His Son by man that He sent into the world to forgive the sins of the world. Man rejected the Truth, the Way and the Life that God sent to them. Instead of pure light and eternal love and life, they killed the Son of God. Jesus died to restore all that love and eternal life, with forgiveness for all sinners. Only at the Cross and acceptance of Jesus Christ to follow Him, can man have eternal life.
Jesus said "Father forgive them for they know not what they are doing" because his whole mission was to carry out His God's plan to reconcile humanity to Himself. 2 Cor:5:19: To wit, that God was in Christ - the anointed one, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. His whole purpose for allowing himself to be crucified was to open the way and make it possible to his God to reconcile the world - humanity unto Himself. That is why he said, "Father forgive them...." He knew that if his own disciples couldn't understand when he talked about his death and resurrection, how could the men who condemned him to death be away as to who he really was. They did not because their eyes were blind and they were as all humanity is now under the influence of the god of this world, the prince of the power of the air, the great Adversary, Satan. Jesus prayer for forgiveness was out of love for those who crucified him in order that they might in the future come to believe in him and be saved. Jesus as his God and Father does not want sinners to be destroyed but instead to repent and believe in the one whom God has sent, himself.
This has been a topic in my bible study just last week, and for me personally, an issue I have explored again and again and came to a new understanding about just before that class! The Lord surely works in mysterious ways! Jesus taught us to forgive. He commanded it thusly: Matthew 6:15: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. Matthew 6:14: For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you Matthew 6:12: (The Lord's Prayer i.e. 'pray like this') And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. Mark 11:26: But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses. So what He taught us, was also applied to Him in human form, so He was really only showing us what is expected of us from the cross, as well. For me forgiveness, with ALL the benefits: freeing yourself from the burden of resentment, anger, judgement (other sins in effect) over something towards someone, and also freeing them from the burden of knowing you hold a grudge against them, isn't the point. The point IS it is something that is a requirement to be RIGHT WITH GOD. For me, being right with the Lord supercedes everything. If I don't forgive, I am, in effect, disobeying God, and that doesn't leave me right with Him. Forgiveness is a commandment not a suggestion! To be a true and obedient Christian we MUST forgive, just as Jesus did everyone from the cross. His example, we MUST follow. On another tangent, Jesus being God, KNEW that God's wrath is immense and having just crucified His only Son, what anger and pain and anguish God must have felt - Jesus must have felt - conflicted with the fact that Jesus bore ALL our sins... ALL OF THEM... and how ugly sin IS to God. His anger at looking at His son seeing only OUR sins must have ravaged our Lord God deeply. In Deuteronomy it is noted that anyone slain for sin hung on a tree (cross) is cursed by God. SO here is God, loving us SO much to sacrifice His son for US, Him becoming OUR sin, and cursing Him for us for it by God, how angry He must have been to watch US mock and spit and fail to recognize who Jesus was and what a HUGE sacrifice He was making FOR us. My comments above still stand for Jesus came to reconcile us with God and to teach us how to be reconciled with God, but also, it is possible He knew that God would be rightly angered by our awful, sinful mistreatment of Him. Either way... Jesus taught us to forgive because God commands it of us. If you choose to follow Jesus, you MUST forgive, and Jesus did this from the cross for many reasons. The human way to think is to get revenge, the godly way to think is to see everyone as human in need of a saviour. How I see it anyway! Even though my answer is inconclusive, I hope it helps in some way! Blessings, in HIM, Lynn
We can emulate Christ here, even when he went through the piercing, cursing, spitting, he still had compassion and asked for forgiveness. We can do that too. When people hurt us, rather than keep the hate in our heart, we can learn to forgive and let go, only then can we have peace. If Christ didn't ask to forgive them from the Father which he already did in his heart. It was enough to abhor hatred against the people that persecuted him.
Jesus prayed for forgiveness for the Roman soldiers who are involved in his torture and about to execute him. Why would Jesus do this since the soldiers are just following orders from their commanding officers if not from the King himself through Pontius Pilate? Soldiers are just doing their jobs and they were trained to follow "blindly" whatever commands they are being tasked. Likewise, this is also for the people who shouted for His crucifixion, those people who may have been frustrated that others would believe Jesus as the Messiah or savior could not perform extraordinary powerful things that could take them out of their miseries in an instant. Hence, when Pontius Pilate asked these people what to do about Jesus who "committed treason", they shouted to crucify Him. This first word of the seven last words of Jesus is for all of us also. We are also guilty of blindly following or issuing immoral commands, be it as we are the subordinates or the people in authority. In context, the message could be 1. We must not obey orders from someone regardless of the personal benefits we get if it is against the morals of humanity. 2. We must not command or compel others to do things even if we have the authority over them if it is against the morals of humanity.
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