“Two other men, both criminals, were also led out with him to be executed. 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.” Luke 23:32-34
It may be hard to acknowledge but most of us have prayed for justice when we believe we have been wronged. Sometimes we have been wronged and then, sometimes we were not as innocent as we believed. At the appointed time, sometimes bit by bit, our loving and gracious Father shows us that our attitudes and actions were not as pure as we thought. Perhaps we spoke too quickly, the tone of our voice was wrong, perhaps we should not have spoken or acted at all, perhaps the words were right but our body action spoke louder…perhaps, perhaps, perhaps.
If we allow the Word and the Holy Spirit to do their perfect work, sooner or later, the Lord convicts us and reveals that we are not quite as innocent as our hearts and minds believe. It helps us to understand Romans 3:23, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God“...yes, even me.
As we look at Luke 23:32-34, we find that there is One who walked the earth and can take exception to the above, His Name is Jesus. The Son of God and the Son of man who lived on this earth and never sinned.
- God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God. 2 Corinthians 5:21
- But you know that He appeared so that He might take away our sins. And in Him is no sin. 1 John 3:5
- “He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in His mouth.” 1 Peter 2:22
The Gospel accounts allow us to see Jesus in the midst of man’s worst action and attitude. If anyone could have prayed to the Father for justice, it is Him. Jesus, the Perfect and Holy Lamb of God could have called out, ‘Father, make them pay for this.” He could have called out and asked the Father to strike each one present down. Jesus could have called out and requested the Father to prove that He and the Father are One, hold all power, and refuse to allow Him to die.
There are many things He could have prayed for to demand justice be rendered…BUT HE DID NOT. Instead, He called out for mercy! He prayed that man would not receive the justice he deserved, the due consequences of his wicked and selfish actions, death and eternal separation from the Father. Jesus in the midst of the ultimate demonstration of wickedness prayed not for justice BUT for forgiveness! SELAH!
Amazing grace, how sweet the sound that saves a wretch like me! Absolute mercy and it’s not in the sooner or later, after things settle down, after the wound begins to scab or the scab falls off… BUT after a brutal beating that caused His face to be beyond recognition and His body battered, after nails are driven through his flesh, and pain is at its peak. Jesus said He came to be about His Father’s business and not even the wickedness of man nor the influence of the enemy would stop Him. SELAH!
For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” Luke 19:10
In bringing many sons and daughters to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through what he suffered. Hebrews 2:10
And they sang a new song, saying: “You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals,
because You were slain, and with Your blood You purchased for God persons from every tribe and language and people and nation. Revelation 5:9
Blessings, honor, glory, and our lives belong to the One who purchased our salvation. I am so very thankful that Jesus’ cry was for mercy because had He cried for justice, the Father would have let Him live…and we would remain in death and God’s wrath. SELAH!
Praise God that His plan before the foundation of the world was to deliver and claim all who accept Jesus as Lord and Savior for His own!
Blessed is the Lamb who takes away the sin of the world!