April 02, 2011

They Do Not Know What They Are Doing

Luke 23:26-38

Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”
Luke 23:34


“They do not know what they are doing.”

Whom was Jesus referring to when he spoke these words from the cross? Was he talking about the soldiers who had just driven spikes through his hands and feet and were now rolling dice for his clothes? Surely they must not have known they were crucifying the Lord of heaven and earth!

Or could Jesus have been referring to people who were walking by, mocking and insulting him?

Or was it possible that he was speaking of his own disciples? They had abandoned him in his hour of deepest need!

Or maybe Jesus was thinking of the religious leaders, whose scheming had led to his sentencing. Or of Pilate, who gave in to the demands of the angry crowd even though he knew Jesus was innocent.

Isn’t it true that none of them really knew what they were doing?

Where do we stop when we think of whom Jesus had in mind when he said this?

The Bible teaches that Jesus’ statement included even you and me. Jesus’ plea of forgiveness on the cross didn’t apply to any one person or group of people. Instead, it was about forgiveness “for the sins of the whole world” (1 John 2:2).

O God, we often don’t know what we are doing. We often don’t see how our sin hurts you, others, and ourselves. Thank you that Jesus offered his life for us. Amen.

About the author — Shawn Brix

Rev. Shawn Brix has served as pastor in several Ontario churches. He and his wife, Jenny, have three children.

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