The first of the seven last “words” of Christ.
Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do, (Luke 23:34, ESV).
Even while on the cross in terrible agony Jesus prayed not only for those who were present, but for us as well. Some may blame the Romans or the leading Jewish authorities for Jesus’ crucifixion, but our sin placed Him on the cross.
Mark Driscoll writes in Death By Love: Letters from the Cross:
Jesus’ first word is a word of forgiveness for the very people who were murdering him. He knew that in a moment he would die to atone for their sins, including the sins they were presently committing against him. In this we see the utter selflessness of Jesus and his unbroken devotion to saving even the worst of the sinners through the cross.
Thank you Jesus for the great love you showed us on the Cross.