Our scripture this week is Luke 23:33-43.
When they came to the place called the Skull, they crucified him there, along with the criminals—one on his right, the other on his left. Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.
When reading this passage, some people focus on the strangeness of the soldiers dividing Jesus’ clothing by casting lots (kind of like rolling dice). As we shall hear later in this passage, this is mentioned in Psalm 22:18. Psalm 22 is the prayer Jesus was praying on the cross as well.
While this is a connection to the Old Testament and shows Jesus came to fulfill prophecy, we would do better to focus on His statement “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” in verse 34. Even as wicked humankind put Him to death, He prayed for God to forgive us all. This is Jesus doing what He had taught us, even under the worst of evil occurrences.
He forgave us to save us, and that is a gift we can never repay. We can live in His grace by following His example of unconditional love and forgiveness. Forgiving doesn’t undo the act, but it can repair the relationship, and reconnect us to God and our brothers and sisters.
Loving Lord, we don’t deserve the gift of unbelievable forgiveness, but You give it anyway. Help us to live in the ways Jesus taught us that we may be found worthy to be called Your children. Amen.