Father, Forgive Them

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Wednesday last week was Ash Wednesday, and I saw people in town with ash crosses on their foreheads. It’s a solemn reminder of the sacrifice Jesus made for our forgiveness. He had dinner with His friends, and then He washed their feet. He knew that Judas would betray Him and Peter would deny he ever knew Him, but it must have broken His heart to see His friends sleeping while He prayed with drops of blood for the Father to let His cup of suffering go away. The priests and elders of the temple took Him from the Garden of Gethsemane to Jerusalem and falsely accused Him. Pilate could see no reason to execute Jesus and sent Him to Herod who didn’t find any reason to kill Him either. Yet, the people kept yelling, “Crucify Him! Crucify Him!

Jesus was beaten, mocked, spit on and crucified. From the cross He said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34).


My heart breaks every Lenten and Easter season when this is the story. It is hard for me to imagine all Jesus experienced for my redemption. When He said, “Father, forgive them,” He wasn’t just talking about the priests and the Roman soldiers and the people who yelled, “Crucify Him!” He was speaking about me too. “Father, forgive her because she does not know what she is doing.”

“God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). Yes, Jesus died for me while I rejected Him. I chose my ways over His for too many years. “O Lord, I am so sorry for my rebellion.”

Brothers and sisters, no one is too far gone, too bad or sinful that Jesus will not say the same words over you: “Father, forgive them because they do not know what they are doing.”


Holy Lord, merciful Father, thank you for Jesus. Thank you for loving me even when I was unlovely, self-indulged and sinful. I pray for others that do not know your amazing love: “Father, forgive them because they do not know what they are doing against you. O Lord, send your Spirit on them to open their eyes to your presence in their lives and your amazing love. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”

Published by

Sue Loeffler

Author of more than two hundred articles, devotions and stories, my book, A CLOSER WALK WITH GOD, is a compilation of devotions from my visit to Israel. The Bible came alive to me, and I discovered I was not only walking where Jesus and the prophets walked; I was walking closer with God. I have taught Sunday school more than twenty years, mentored young women and volunteered as a hospital chaplain. Today I lead Women's Bible studies in my home, and I write a blog at A Closer Walk With God-Devotions from a Journey Through the Holy Lands. Visit often and/or subscribe/follow.

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