26 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. 27 And there followed him a great multitude of the people and of women who were mourning and lamenting for him. 28 But turning to them Jesus said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. 29 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!’
30 Then they will begin to say to the mountains, ‘Fall on us,’ and to the hills, ‘Cover us.’ 31 For if they do these things when the wood is green, what will happen when it is dry?”
32 Two others, who were criminals, were led away to be put to death with him. 33 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. 34 And Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” And they cast lots to divide his garments. — Luke 23:26–34 (ESV)
How easily we think we are right in our own eyes. We think we know what is just, good, and true. The religious elite gathered among many others, all calling for the death of Jesus. He claimed to forgive sins, to be the Christ, to be God himself. How dare he blaspheme God? He must die. In their eyes, Jesus’ death was just. It was right. It was necessary. He was in the way, turning their world upside down. He had to be silenced and canceled; he had to be eliminated.
Our propensity to sin may be different from theirs, but when confronted with the holiness and glory of Jesus we, likewise, want him eliminated. We do not want forgiveness but, rather, more transgression. We do not want truth but want to cover our sin with more lies. We do not want what is good because what we truly want is evil; we want our sin.
Outside of Jesus, we are no different than the scoffer. We do not know what we do. We believe we will find freedom by being imprisoned by our sin. We believe we are finding life by clinging to the sin that kills us. We believe that indulging in sinful pleasures will bring us joy when it truly brings us misery.
Yet, Jesus prays for the forgiveness of sinners who do not know what they do. He prays for the forgiveness that brings us into God’s eternal presence. Forgiveness that turns misery into joy. Forgiveness that tramples over death, bringing new life. Forgiveness that sets the captives free. Forgiveness that places your sins on Jesus, who carries them an infinite distance from us. As far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us.
Jesus secured this forgiveness through His own death and resurrection. Sinners, who do not know what they do, turn to Jesus the Christ, who took on sin and death, casting its burden into the depths of the sea. Jesus knows what to do with sin; He put it to death. Only he can do this, as only he triumphed over death. When Jesus says he is the Christ, is it that you want? For he offers forgiveness of sins.
We lift up our voices to you, Holy and Righteous One.
You are our All in All, Creator, and Redeemer.
When we gaze upon the cross, we ought to be in awe that you, in one fell swoop, took on our every strife and forged the path to redemption.
And yet, we have the audacity to be homesick for our shackles.
Like Israel longed to return to Egypt, so we prefer our depravity over your deliverance.
Even in his final hour, the Son poured out himself unto death to forgive us, his enemies. Obeying his own command, Christ’s prayer for us mingled with his sweat and tears. As the blood came down, so too did our Great High Priest’s intercession.
Forgive us, when we do not know what we do.
And forgive us too, for the times we know exactly what we’re doing. Your forgiveness, a banner over us.
Bolster our courage to pray for our enemies
even in the face of death.
Oh Holy God, Conqueror of Sin, set us to work building your kingdom here, declaring your Lordship over all. May we truly desire for things to be on earth as they are in heaven, living daily in the shadow of the cross until Christ returns in glory.
Good Friday & Resurrection Sunday
You are invited you to celebrate Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday at Coram Deo Church. Good Friday is a unique time of reflecting on the sacrificial death of Jesus, while Resurrection Sunday is a celebration of Jesus’ resurrection from the dead. Our Good Friday services will be at 5:30 and 7:00 p.m. on April 15 while our Resurrection Sunday services will be at 8, 9:30, and 11:00 a.m. on April 17.