I have been with scores of people as they were dying.
I have become very interested in the things people say in the hour of death. While serving as a police officer I wanted to hear a death bed confession. Later, after beginning pastoral ministry, I wanted to hear: “It is well with my soul.” or “I see Jesus.” You know, comforting words. Words that sealed the deal….brought some closure.
So today I leaned in and listened to Jesus.
The first statement He makes is this, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” It’s His prayer from the cross.
He was suffering untold agony.
He was dying a shameful death.
Then He speaks,
He does not cry out for pity?
He does not curse His crucifiers?
He does not plead for His release?
He prays…not for Himself but for all of His enemies.
Those who jeered Him…..Those who condemned Him…..Those who nailed Him to the cross
Who else but the Son of God could have prayed like that in an hour like this?
In the original Greek we read that He prayed that prayer many times.
When He arrived at Calvary… “Father forgive Them”
When the soldiers crushed Him down and laid Him upon the cross.
When the nails tore through His flesh.
When He was lifted up on the cross.
When the crowd jeered Him.
When the soldiers gambled for His garments.
No one knows how many times this cry pierced the Heavens.
He kept storming the throne of grace on behalf of others.
I WANT THE ONE WHO PRAYED LIKE THAT TO BE MY SAVIOR.
I want to be like Him.
In the Bonds of Calvary,