Father, Forgive Them!

Forgiveness is one of the most difficult things to do. Sometimes we find it difficult to even think about forgiving somebody who hurt us...

Pastor Smith challenges you to look at this issue of forgiveness through the eyes of our Saviour, who, looking at those who were crucifying him, uttered these amazing words: "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing." - Luke 23:34.

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Sermon Excrept

"The first of the seven sayings of Christ on the cross is a prayer for forgiveness. Jesus' public ministry began with prayer. You read about that in Luke chapters 3 and 4. Throughout his ministry he prayed. And now, as his ministry is drawing to a close, we see him again in prayer.

His hands can no longer minister to the sick, for they are nailed to the cross. His feet can no longer carry him on errands of mercy, because they, too, are nailed to the cross. He can no longer instruct his disciples, because they have fled in fear for their own lives, and they have forsaken him.

How does he occupy himself?

He prays. He is still ministering. A ministry of prayer is all he can do. But it was a lot!

I think that is an important lesson for us. "

The Word of Forgiveness - Sermon Summary

Luke 23:33-34

  John 1:1-4, 14, 11
God the creator came to world He created Finally – son of God – yielded Himself to vilest of men He hangs silently on cross

Lesson 1:

Luke 23:34 - "Father forgive them for they know not what they do"

This is 1st of 7 sayings on the cross Luke 3:21 - His public ministry began with prayer
His hands could no longer minister to sick His feet could no longer carry Him on errands of mercy He could no longer instruct disciples How does He occupy Himself?
Important lesson for us God may be leaving us a few more days, months, years to engage in ministry of prayer
Christ’s prayer for enemies sets us example Christ’s prayer was effective

Inspired Thoughts:

"Through much prayer you must labor for souls, for this is the only method by which you can reach hearts. It is not your work, but the work of Christ who is by your side, that impresses hearts." Evangelism, p.525

Lesson 2

Luke 23:34
We see fulfillment of God’s prophetic Word

Isa 53:12 - He would make intercession

God is sovereign Isa 53 - predicted 10 things about Messiah’s suffering
  1. Despised and rejected of men
  2. Man of sorrows & acquainted with grief
  3. Be wounded, bruised, chastised
  4. Go unresistingly to slaughter
  5. Be dumb before shearers
  6. Suffer at hands of men & bruised by Lord
  7. Pour out soul unto death
  8. Buried in rich man’s tomb
  9. Numbered with transgressors
  10. Make intercession for transgressors
Jesus Christ was truly the Messiah!

Lesson 3

Luke 23:34
He never made such a request before Why did Jesus now ask Father to forgive? On cross – Christ no longer in place of authority

Lesson 4

Luke 23:34

We see God’s estimate of sin & its consequent guilt

Lesson 5

Luke 23:34

We see blindness of human heart They ought to have known This tragedy still repeated today There is hope

Lesson 6

Luke 23:34

We see perfect example of His own teaching We must never harbor ill feelings or anger

Lesson 7

Luke 23:34

We see man’s great and primary need It matters not if I am: What matters now and eternally: Col 1:14 - We can have forgiveness thru Christ.

Lesson 8

Luke 23:34 - "Then..."

We see the triumph of redeeming love

Notice the word "then": That was the triumph of redeeming love


Luke 23:34

There is wonderful good news in that 1st saying at the cross

The forgiveness provided at Calvary covers all our sins