Crosspoint Church | Georgetown, TX

The PLACE of Forgiveness

Daily Devotions based on the Sermon Series: “Timely Teaching for Turbulent Times”
Week 2 of 6: “The Impact of Forgiveness!”

THIS WEEK: Favorite Forgiveness Moments

What do you mean they didn’t know what they were doing?

You want to give them a pass because of ignorance?

This is what they did…perhaps daily.  In fact, they didn’t think anything of it.  They were just carrying out orders.  Make sure they stay on.  Make sure they come off dead.

The soldiers who crucified Jesus were professional executioners.  They knew how to put you on the cross.  They knew how to keep you there for as long as possible.  But they knew how to make sure you were dead when you came off…after hours of agony.

What do you mean they didn’t know what they were doing?

Jesus wasn’t questioning their skills.  He knew they were soldiers tasked with crucifying him and two others.  He was making a statement that ignorance wasn’t an excuse for crucifying the innocent.

Was Jesus thinking about Proverbs 24:11-12 when he said this?

Proverbs 24:11-12 Rescue those being led away to death; hold back those staggering toward slaughter.  12  If you say, “But we knew nothing about this,” does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not he who guards your life know it? Will he not repay each person according to what he has done?

The soldiers were ignorant. They were tasked with crucifying Jesus.  Was Jesus inferring that they were his last line of defense against the injustice about to occur and did nothing to stop it?  The fact was, they too were as guilty of injustice against Jesus as all the others that finally sent Jesus to the cross.  Yet Jesus does something remarkable.

Luke 23:32 Two other men, both criminals, were also led out with him to be executed. 33 When they came to the place called the Skull, there they crucified him, along with the criminals—one on his right, the other on his left. 34 Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.

From his place on the cross, Jesus chooses to forgive.  He asks his Father to forgive their sin, even if was done in ignorance.

As the soldiers divided his garments, Jesus was distributing his grace.

To the member of the crowd who just got caught in the chants and jeering…Father forgiven them.

To the religious leader who was missing the fact that Jesus was the Messiah…Father forgive them.

To the thief on the cross who joined in the mocking of Jesus…Father forgive them.

The impact?

One centurion said as the earth shook at Jesus’ death, “Surely he was the Son of God.”  Perhaps he also remembered Jesus forgave him, too.

How about you?  Can you be a distributor of grace?

For every person who is convinced they are doing right, but are really doing evil…Father forgive them.

For the person who has intentionally harmed us…Father forgive them.

For the words that stung for years, but the person doesn’t even know they hurt…Father forgive them.

For the person who set out to serve well in ministry but was caught by their ego…Father forgive them.

For the person who barely knows you, but often wishes evil on you…Father forgive them…

…they don’t know what they are doing.

The cross was a strange place to forgive, but what better place to forgive than from the foot of the cross by which I have been forgiven.

Apply:  Is there someone you are struggling to forgive, convinced they intentionally harmed you?  Find strength in Jesus’ words to forgive you, even of sins of ignorance, to give forgiveness to those…who may not know what they are doing.

Prayer: Father, forgive us…we don’t always know what we are doing! AMEN.

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