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

Bhutan boy idol worship

A boy in Bhutan performs rituals before idols

This week we are thinking about the words spoken by Jesus from the cross. Collectively, they articulate the depth of suffering that Christ endured. Reading through the gospels, often these 7 sayings are easily noticed - especially if your Bible has the words of Jesus printed in red text!

Many believe that Jesus spoke the first of these sayings at around 9am, as He was being nailed to the cross. During crucifixion, normally the victim would be laid on the cross while it was still horizontal, before being lifted into the vertical position. Some have suggested that this prayer of Jesus was offered to God on behalf of those who, at that very moment, were driving the nails into His hands and feet.

It is important to note that Jesus didn’t pronounce them forgiven there and then, on the spot, but rather He prayed for their forgiveness. It was some time later that this prayer would be wonderfully answered. Peter’s sermon on the day of Pentecost - recorded in Acts 2 - was addressed to those who had crucified Jesus. Upon hearing the message of salvation and the call to repent, many did, and found the forgiveness that Jesus had been praying for 50 days beforehand.

Millions throughout Asia are blindly worshipping idols of wood and stone

The words of this prayer of Jesus are appropriate as we pray for the unreached peoples of the world. Millions throughout Asia are blindly worshipping idols of wood and stone. In some sense, it could be said that they do not know what they are doing. Please pray that as our AsiaLink partners share the Gospel, many will repent and find this amazing forgiveness today.

More Easter 2019 devotions