Message: ‘Father, forgive them…’ Text: Luke 23:26-38
PP: So, while I do find science interesting, I’m still sticking with women speak more than men because they have to repeat everything they say to them. Am I right ladies?
But whether you’re a woman or man, most of what we say is not all that important in the big picture.
Now listen to the last words frompeople who placed their faith in Jesus as their Savior.
There’s a difference in the last words of those who cling to the world and those who cling to Christ. The difference is
All brought about, by a relationship with Jesus.
Today, we’ll be looking at how 10 of Jesus’ last words on the cross changed the lives of many people in His day, and in ours.
Transition: So, open your Bibles to Luke 23:26.
PP: And as they led Him away, they seized one Simon of Cyrene, who was coming in from the country, and laid on him the cross, to carry it behind Jesus.
PP: When a criminal was condemned to be crucified, he was led away from the judgment hall by 4 Roman soldiers. His own cross, the means of his execution, was laid upon his shoulders. And he was led by the longest way possible, to the place of crucifixion.
Let’s remember that Jesus had been up all night during the trials, then severely beaten. The wooden cross was heavy & Jesus was exhausted.
We don’t know a lot about Simon of Cyrene. But what we do know is actually pretty interesting.
Was Simon of Cyrene saved that day? There is some evidence to support that.
At least one person got saved at Pentecost from Cyrene… Someone went back to Cyrene in North Africa and began to spread the word about forgiveness through faith in Jesus.
Friends, God cares about people, God cares about the individual.God cares about YOU!
Look, I’m not going to go as in depth with all the people mentioned in our text, BUT, think about this for a moment.
2. Luke 23:27-31 Daughters of Jerusalem
PP: And there followed Him a great multitude of the people and of women who were mourning and lamenting for Him. But turning to them Jesus said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for Me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. For behold, the days are coming when they will say, ‘Blessed are the barren and the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed!’ Then they will begin to say to the mountains, ‘Fall on us,’ and to the hills, ‘Cover us.’ For if they do these things when the wood is green, what will happen when it is dry?”
There were a lot of people in the procession heading outside Jerusalem to the hill called Golgotha.
While they were mourning his execution, it does not mean they were saved. It was normal for that time for women to mourn Jews who were executed by the Romans… no matter the crime.
The term Daughters of Jerusalem, often referred to those women who were faithful Jews, who were waiting for the Messiahs return.
What we see here is Jesus restating His earlier prophesy of the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD. He had previously mentioned it in both Luke 19 and Luke 21.
He again warns of the devastation to come by God’s judgment through the Romans. And why the judgment?
They rejected Jesus as their Messiah.
Some commenters say this is pure judgment from Jesus. John MacArthur says that this is not Jesus giving them a second chance. I see it differently.
I see it no differently here.
3. Luke 23:32 Two others
PP: Two others, who were criminals, were led away to be put to death with Him.
Jesus wasn’t the only one being led to their death. Two others were there as well. Some say they were partners with Barabbas who got caught but didn’t get released. Seems logical to me.
4. Luke 23:34a Crucified
PP: And when they came to the place that is called The Skull, there they crucified Him, and the criminals, one on His right and one on His left.
PP: Next Slide
All 4 Gospels use just one short verse to describe Jesus’ crucifixion.
Perhaps the Gospels used such an economy of words to describe Jesus’ crucifixion, because they were more interested in Jesus’ own words from the cross Father, forgive them….
PP: H. C. Trumbull was an American clergyman and author in the 1800’s who as a pioneer of the Sunday School Movement. He summed up Jesus’ crucifixion this way.
One of the most amazing truths about Jesus’ crucifixion is that there were far more than just 2 criminals crucified with Jesus that day. There were literally millions of criminals, sinners, crucified with Him on the cross.
PP: Romans 6:3-7 Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? We were buried therefore with Him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have been united with Him in a death like His, we shall certainly be united with Him in a resurrection like His. We know that our old self was crucified with Him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin.
Putting it another way, the Apostle Paul writing to the Church in Galatia said: PP: I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.
As followers of Jesus Christ, we died with Him, so that we would have to die by ourselves.
5. Luke 23:34a Father Forgive Them…
PP: And Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.
The way the ancient manuscripts of the Bible put it, we miss something very important in our English translations. The verb tense suggests that Father forgive them was repeated more than once by Jesus on the cross. It could read something like this:
Let than sink in for a moment.PP:
Now listen to what the Apostle Paul wrote in PP: Romans 5:20: Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more…
Jesus, nailed to a cross, in excruciating pain, and experiencing the sin of all those who would place their faith in Him… looks beyond Himself, ushers up enough strength to say
That’s the ultimate demonstration of love.. isn’t it? PP: In the Book of Romans we read: but, God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
We just celebrate the Advent season where it was announced by the angel that Jesus will save His people from their sins (Matthew 1:21)
How are we saved from our sins? Only by God’s forgiveness.
And Jesus’ prayer to the Father for forgiveness was answered when Jesus took His last breath and said It is finished!
One last thing before I move on. Give me a moment to try and explain what Jesus meant when He said PP: for they know not what they do.
What they were ignorant of was the enormity of their guilt and the judgment that awaited them for their decision to reject Him.
until they understand the gravity of their sin and repent.
For those here this morning who have yet to say YES to Jesus’s offer of forgiveness… you now know, you are no longer ignorant. And if Jesus is touching your heart right now, you need to say:
6. Luke 23:34b-37 Soldiers, People, Rulers
PP: And they cast lots to divide His garments. And the people stood by, watching, but the rulers scoffed at Him, saying, “He saved others; let Him save Himself, if He is the Christ of God, His Chosen One!” The soldiers also mocked Him, coming up and offering Him sour wine and saying, “If You are the King of the Jews, save Yourself!”
It seems just about everyone gets into the ‘Let’s make fun of Jesus’ game. But notice something… everything they mock Him with… is TRUE!
Get this… in their mocking of Jesus, they were proclaiming the Gospel.
And here’s the great grace in this passage…
The soldiers, People, Rulers, all sinful and deserve separation from God… PP: but, God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
7. Luke 23:38 Pilate
PP: There was also an inscription over Him, “This is the King of the Jews.”
Pilate, a Gentile, a Roman who wanted to set Jesus free because he knew Jesus was innocent… proclaims the Gospel as well to all who walk by Jesus’ cross.
While we can’t be certain, it seems from public records that Pilate killed himself not too long after these events.
PP: Next Slide
Conclusion: If you used the Sermon Notes page in your Bulletin, you found names for sermon points:
And in the middle of those is Jesus praying to the Father… for those very same people. Father, forgive them. And over the centuries since His death, Jesus hasn’t stopped praying that very same prayer.. for people.
If you’re here today and you’ve been saved by God’s amazing grace, then rejoice, because on the day you gave your life to Jesus, He was saying:
Aren’t you glad?
And if you’re here this morning and the Holy Spirit is tapping on your shoulder, wooing you to faith in Jesus, Jesus is praying
And you can be like the one thief on the cross who turned to Jesus after He heard Jesus pray: Father forgive them.
Search deep… have you been forgiven by God through faith in Jesus?