“Jesus said, ‘Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.’ And the soldiers gambled for his clothes by throwing dice” (Luke 23:34, NLT).
Normally when we read this verse (and a lot of verses) we think of how to apply it to ourselves. But what does this say about God? About Jesus who would ask his Father to forgive the very ones who were mocking him and gambling for his clothes, oblivious to his pain and to who he was? About the Father who answered this prayer of his only son who hung on the cross dying?
We casually, unknowingly and even willfully sin and often ignore and/or participate in the suffering of others. We lack understanding of the magnitude of sin, the consequences and ramifications—what the totality of it looks like to God who sees all from the beginning to the end. God takes sin seriously. Because he is the God of love and forgiveness and understands the human heart, he became a human and died to save us from sin and death. In Christ’s death and resurrection, God answered this short prayer that reveals how much he loves us—he forgave the whole human race for the enormous blight that hurts us all. His prayer now is that we will turn to him and accept his freely given forgiveness.