‘Father, Forgive Them.’

The crucifixion and later the resurrection of Jesus are at the very centre of the Christian faith and during this period of Lent are subjects which are very much on our hearts. Such a horrific form of death could have led to Jesus crying out for vengeance on His enemies. Instead He prayed for forgiveness for them. We read in Matthew 26:53 that He had at His command ‘more than twelve legions of angels.’ That’s a large number and He had in His power the whole universe yet His prayer was for forgiveness.

Jesus didn’t just preach ‘Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,’ He lived it and died it. As Peter later said ‘When He was reviled, He did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but He trusted in Him who judges justly.’ 1 Peter 2:23. Forgiveness makes no sense unless it is preached against the dark background of human sin. We all need to be forgiven and there is forgiveness for all who put their faith in the crucified Saviour.