Bible Reading: Luke 23:26-49
“And Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34)
“But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)
Amidst the biggest demonstration of human evil, the loving heart of God is made plain. The Jewish leaders mocked Him, the Roman soldiers dejected Him, and bystanders wept out of pity, not knowing what was truly happening. This was the epitome of human sin. It is the epitome of both past and present. Before Jesus came, Israel continually rejected God. They were stiff-necked people that disobeyed God with brute ignorance despite countless warnings and opportunities to repent. Today, we have denied the existence of God and turned to worthless idols of secularism.
Yet, all our sins and evil culminate on the cross. As a human race, we have put to death our Creator, who condescended to save us. The essence is the rebellious heart of all mankind who disobey our God. This heart is yours and mine. Our rebellion against God put Christ on the cross — our rebellion that demanded the holy wrath of God.
However, God planned that Christ would be the suffering servant because it was in these darkest moments that Christ shed light. We did not understand the depth and depravity of our evil. Yet, in the middle of our defiling actions, Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”
Here we can observe Christ’s heart. He lived out what He taught — “Love your enemies”. When we were lost in the deepest evil which we ourselves do not understand, Christ’s heart is to forgive His people. This love of God is present for all those who believe.
Look upon yourself. Remember how we, too, were lost in sin. And in that sin, we were blind and bound. We did not know the truth, nor were we able to escape. Our hearts were against God. Our actions defiled and dejected Him. “Yet, while we were still sinners, Christ died for us”.
In Christ, we can have hope because He brought redemption freely in the darkest of darks. No sin is too vile or too wicked for forgiveness because, on the ugliest day of human history, Jesus’ heart was to forgive.
On the cross, Christ hung for the sins of His people. He died to fulfil God’s eternal plan of salvation for those He loved. It was God’s plan from eternity to redeem and restore His people. On the cross, Christ fully atoned for His people’s sins, and His blood fully assures the forgiveness and salvation of His people from sin unto life with God.
As John 6:39 says, “And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day”. Yet, who are His people? John 6:40 continues, “For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.”
Have you believed in Him? Those who believe in Him are His children whom He has loved from the beginning until the cross and forevermore.
Lord, who are we to have received Your love? Who are we that You would love us to the cross? Lord, forgive us for we do not know Your love. We do not understand what You have done for us on the cross. Give us an understanding of Your love and change our cold hearts. Enflame us, purify us, and sanctify us to glory in Your love forevermore. In Jesus' name, amen.