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Then Jesus Prayed

Then Jesus prayed, “Father, forgive them,
for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34a) (Matthew 27:50-51a)

Instead of asking God to give His killers their just deserts, Jesus asked Him to bestow complete forgiveness on them. Jesus was neither condoning their actions nor denying their guilt, but rather recognizing that they didn’t understand the weight of what they were doing. From the Jewish perspective, Jesus was a blasphemer against the God of the Torah; the Romans thought they were punishing another rabble-rousing criminal. They didn’t realize they were committing the worst crime in the history of the world: the crucifixion of the Son of God.

Jesus interceded on behalf of the people who were torturing Him, and at Golgotha He modeled the words He had shared again and again in His earthly ministry:

Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you. (Matthew 5:44)

And that’s what He is still doing more than two thousand years later. From the throne room of Heaven, Jesus is not accusing us, but is standing as our advocate and interceding on our behalf.

By Ken Costa
From his book, “Strange Kingdom” 
Copyright © 2018 HarperCollins Christian Publishing,
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