Luke 23:34 Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.”
Monologue -Paralytic Man – Christopher
Imagine what it was like for that man to see the crowd, think there was no way he was going to get to see this miracle worker because of the crowd but his friends undaunted and full of faith…tear apart a roof, they were willing to do whatever it took for their friend…
Sometimes we need to have that kind of faith for our friends we might need to push them to get into a position to trust the Lord, his friends had more faith than he did, at first,an he knew he was a sinner and why would such a holy man want to have anything to do with him?
They rip through the roof and lower him down, I believe the minute he saw Jesus he knew he was going to be healed but he received more than a healing he received freedom that day from every weight…he was forgiven…lets look at the story
Matthew 9: 1-8 (ESV)
And getting into a boat he crossed over and came to his own city. 2 And behold, some people brought to him a paralytic, lying on a bed. And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Take heart, my son; your sins are forgiven.” 3 And behold, some of the scribes said to themselves, “This man is blaspheming.” 4 But Jesus, knowing their thoughts, said, “Why do you think evil in your hearts? 5 For which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise and walk’? 6 But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he then said to the paralytic—“Rise, pick up your bed and go home.” 7 And he rose and went home. 8 When the crowds saw it, they were afraid, and they glorified God, who had given such authority to men.
The man was changed that day…how could he ever forget those words that brought him healing from the inside out “Your sins are forgiven”
Fast forward to the final scene in Jesus’ life before his death on the cross. It is the Friday of Passover the Jewish festival that all the people were expected to attend even the ones who had been paralytics…a man once paralyzed could now walk to and through the streets of Jerusalem….imagine if he had walked by as this scene was taking place from the cross.
Two others, both criminals, were led out to be executed with him. 33 When they came to a place called The Skull, they nailed him to the cross. And the criminals were also crucified—one on his right and one on his left. 34 Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.” And the soldiers gambled for his clothes by throwing dice. 35 The crowd watched and the leaders scoffed. “He saved others,” they said, “let him save himself if he is really God’s Messiah, the Chosen One.” 36 The soldiers mocked him, too, by offering him a drink of sour wine. 37 They called out to him, “If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!” 38 A sign was fastened above him with these words: “This is the King of the Jews.”
Jesus whole life was about love and life and that relationship could be restored to mankind through forgiveness. The paralytic had received this for himself and imagine his thoughts if he were to hear this from the cross…”I know what Jesus forgiveness did for me, is he now, in this place, in this condition forgiving the whole world?” what freedom it brought me!!! What freedom it will bring to the world!
These words are the first of seven phrases the Gospel writers record from the cross…last words are normally significant…last words can be the literal last words from someone or they could be the last things said before someone leaves you
I love you
See you soon
It is interesting to see that Jesus’ first, last words were directed to the Father….the Son and the Father are having an intimate conversation from the cross…John 1:1tells us
In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God.
That phrase the “word was with God” it is like a word picture of God and Jesus being face to face communicating….in our understanding they were doing Facetime. In that moment when Jesus was saying forgive them it was as if Jesus was face to face with the Father and t
they were having clear communication.
The Father was right there as Jesus was suffering, seeing everything that was going on a receiving the request from the Son
It should help us to remember that in those times when we feel whipped, bruised, rejected, wounded we know we too can cry out “Abba,” “Daddy,” “Father”
It should also remind us that even when we don’t know what we are doing against the Lord, when we are ignorant of what we are doing or ignorant enough to purposely do something against the Lord that he will still stand to cry out “Forgive them, they don’t know what they are doing!”
It should bring us some relief from our regrets and failures
When we think I don’t know what I’m doing as a parent
I don’t know what I’m doing in this position at work or school
I don’t know how I got here with how often I have blown it
There are times all of us struggle with what we are doing as a parent, spouse, employee, employer, friend leader neighbor, son, or daughter
Sometimes our cry is “I don’t know what I’m doing except making a mess!”
None of us was given a clear instruction manual on how to handle every exact situation and relationship in life but we know we can be at peace knowing those words
Father forgive them!
We get forgiveness for who we are, what we do even when we seem to have done it on purpose, when we cry out to him and He forgives.
Part of the nature and character of God is that he is full of forgiveness…he is a God of reconciliation always working to reconcile us to him.
Through the cross, God did a pre-emptive strike for us….a pre-emptive strike is when someone makes the first move before you have a chance to do anything. On the cross, before we even had the chance to sin or even knew what sin was Christ dealt with our sin…we didn’t have the chance to acknowledge our sin or even repent from it Christ took it to the cross saying
“Father forgive them, they don’t know what they are doing!”
It is interesting because many of us have been conditioned to think primarily about forgiveness coming in response to our confession and ownership of knowing what we did wrong
We run to this scripture
1 John 1:9
But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.
This verse is obviously true and the heart of God but before this was ever written or understood our sin was already forgiven at the cross.
Do you realize that with nearly every person Jesus was the initiator of forgivenessby telling people something they weren’t even asking for…”your sins are forgiven”
No one was standing at the foot of the cross, saying “Jesus please forgive me”in fact they were doing just the opposite, cursing, mocking, no one stood at the foot of the cross and prayed the sinners prayer instead Jesus did a preemptive strike and forgive us first
How could we ever have a face to face with an almighty, pure Holy God if he hadn’t forgiven us first….with what Jesus did on the cross it is as if the Father was saying “Hey, you are forgiven can we talk?”
We see the same thing in the story of the Prodigal son in Luke 15 the young man had sinned against his father and family yet before be can say a thing the Father runs to him and welcomes him with open arms, loves him and then this love compels him to confess not the other way around.
The Father is always running to us…In 1 John 1:9 where it says if we confess our sins”…the word confess means “to say the same thing as”
See what John is saying is when we confess we are saying the same thing that Jesus is saying about our lives…
This is what I mean it is Jesus on the cross saying to you and I “I’m here because you don’t know what you are doing”
I say: Jesus you are right my life is a mess, I am saying the same thing as you, you, I really don’t know what I’m doing most of the time I try to do right bur I keep doing what is wrong
Jesus: I know you don’t know and you don’t want to do all of that but you know what you are forgiven.
Confession is saying the same thing about our lives as Jesus has already said we are in need of forgiveness and we should accept the preemptive strike Jesus did for our sin..he has already canceled the power of sin in our lives we just need to choose to accept it…When He said “Father forgive them, he meant it”
We think we know what we are doing with
But we don’t! How often do they leave us empty without the intimacy a real relationship offers, they leave us broken, wounded, hopeless and we try to fill it with other things
Some of you are saying well I’m a Christian already I don’t need to hear this …but you too are carrying around a load of guilt, regret, bitterness, rejection all the poisons that are still poisoning our culture robbing you of real intimacy with Christ and power
165 times Paul says we are “in Christ”….we are to be one with him always but you don’t feel that believe it because you haven’t applied Christ forgiveness to you so Christ is there and you are here trying to follow and serve him instead of being “in Him” being one with Him
Jesus wants us to be free of sin, be free of regret, bitterness, anger, rejection; the parts of our lives that are a mess because before you even committed the sin…Christ said, “Father forgive them, they don’t know what you were doing”you may have known you were sinning but you didn’t understand the full cost of the sin is the separation you have from His peace, love, joy, understanding hope and so much more because you have not applied His forgiveness to your life.
Will you do that today? Will you take a moment to evaluate your life? Do you have a real relationship with Jesus and intimacy where you know you are completely free and forgiven you can’t earn it, be good enough, or suffer enough to earn it…he already looked down from the cross and said….I have a plan and a purpose for them and as long as there is a wall of unforgiveness between me and them they will never fulfill that purpose they will always be striving, always frustrated
Many a Christian has gone to the grave feeling unfulfilled because of this problem and many non Christians have never know freedom because they haven’t known this don’t be one of them…start fresh today!