Forgiveness from the Cross

“Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”

~ Luke 23:34

This is probably the shortest prayer we will look at during this study, but it is also one of the most powerful. The power of this one sentence prayer is in the context.

Jesus prayed for those persecuting Him. He was betrayed, abandoned, beaten, and nailed to a cross for sins He never committed, and in the heat of the moment He prayed for the very people who were to blame.

If you were in a similar situation, how do you think you would react?

Would you remember to pray for your enemies?

I doubt I would.

I would be tempted to lash out in anger. To scream my innocence at the top of my lungs. At the very least I would most likely be absorbed in the unfairness of it all.

But not our Savior.

Jesus didn’t wallow in self-pity or spew hatred, His heart was full of love for the unlovable.

In what must have been the lowest moment of His life–His rock bottom–He asked God to forgive those who were against him.

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What an amazing Savior we have.

It isn’t always easy to be imitators of our King.

However, there are certain things we can do, to make following Him easier.

We can be in His Word daily.

We can pray continuously.

We can memorize Scriptures.

The more we immerse ourselves in our relationship with Christ, the easier it will be to honor Him with our thoughts, our words, and our actions.

The more we immerse ourselves in our relationship with Christ, the easier it will be to imitate Him.

Reflection Questions

  • Do you pray for your enemies? Is there someone you specifically need to pray for today?
  • What are some of your default reactions when people sin against you?
  • Do you have a verse that helps you remember to honor God, and choose to imitate Him over the sinful desires of your heart?

Take it Deeper

  • Read the following Scriptures: Romans 12:14; Matthew 5:43-48; Matthew 5:10-12; 1 Corinthians 4:10-13; Luke 6:27-31; Matthew 18:21-22; Matthew 5:38-42; Colossians 3:13
  • Download the PDF Study Guide
  • Join the conversation! Share one or more of your answers to the reflection questions in the comments below.

 

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You can find the next post in this series here.

 

Previous posts in this series

Study announcement

What is prayer?

The Lord’s Prayer

The Humble Prayer

A Prayer for Strength

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