Saturday, March 13, 2010


LUKE 23:34,
“Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.”

Men have already done the worst! “He came unto his own, and his own received him not.” (John 1:11). Christ made this world and gave breath to man, but man has rejected Christ as his Savior.

The eyes of man blinded by sin do not see the beauty that would cause them to desire him as their Savior.

Yet Christ died on the cross as a sacrifice for man praying: “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” Let us note some things about this prayer.

I. Christ Fulfilled the Prophetic Word.

Isaiah 53:12, “Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.”

A. This does not refer to the ministry of Christ in the present.

1. It is true that He is able to save the soul, Hebrews 7:25, “Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.”

2. This speaks about that which He is doing now for those who have believed on Him.

B. Isaiah 53:12 refers to the gracious act of the time of his crucifiction: “and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.”

Note a list of 10 things in this passage:

1. “He is despised and rejected of men;” v. 3.

2. “A man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief,” v.3.

3. “But he was wounded…, he was bruised…: the chastisement of our peace…” v. 5.

4. “He was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth:” v. 7.

5. “as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.” v, 7,

6. Not only did He suffer at the hands of man, but He was smitten of God, v. 4.

7. “He hath poured out his soul unto death:” v. 12.

8. He was burried in a borrowed tomb, Luke 23:51-53.

9. “He was numbered with the transgressors;” v. 12.

10. He “made intercession for the transgressors.” v. 12.

II. We See Jesus Identifying Himself With His People .

A. “Father, forgive them;” vs. 28-31.

1. Never before this occasion had Christ invoked the pardon of the Father for others.

2. Before HE pardoned the sinners.

a. The paralytic, Matthew 9:2, “And, behold, they brought to him a man sick of the palsy, lying on a bed: and Jesus seeing their faith said unto the sick of the palsy; Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee.”

b. The woman who washed the feet of Jesus with tears, Luke 7:48, “And he said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven.”

B. Why did Jesus ask the Father to pardon them instead of declaring them forgiven?

1. Forgiveness of sin is a divine privilege. In Mark 2:7 the Pharisees asked: “who can forgive sins but God only?”

2. Jesus could not execute His divine powers from the cross.

a. He had power on the earth, Matthew 9:6, “But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (then saith he to the sick of the palsy,) Arise, take up thy bed, and go unto thine house.”

b. But on the cross he was lifted up from the earth, John 12:32, “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.”

3. Jesus was acting as a substitute identifying himself with His people, Isaiah 53:12, “and made intercession for the transgressors.”

III. Here We See The Estimate of Sin.

A. Ignorance is no excuse.

1. The people guilty of transgressing God’s law in the Old Testament brought an offering for sin, Leviticus 5:15-16, “If a soul commit a trespass, and sin through ignorance, in the holy things of the LORD; then he shall bring for his trespass unto the LORD a ram without blemish out of the flocks, with thy estimation by shekels of silver, after the shekel of the sanctuary, for a trespass offering: 16 And he shall make amends for the harm that he hath done in the holy thing, and shall add the fifth part thereto, and give it unto the priest: and the priest shall make an atonement for him with the ram of the trespass offering, and it shall be forgiven him.”

2. The Psalmist prayed, “Who can understand his errors? cleanse thou me from secret faults.” (Psalm 19:12).

B. Sin is always sin in the eyes of God. Ignorance is not innocence. “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.”

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