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04102020 Good Friday

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Luke 23:33–43 NASB95PARA
When they came to the place called The Skull, there they crucified Him and the criminals, one on the right and the other on the left. But Jesus was saying, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” And they cast lots, dividing up His garments among themselves. And the people stood by, looking on. And even the rulers were sneering at Him, saying, “He saved others; let Him save Himself if this is the Christ of God, His Chosen One.” The soldiers also mocked Him, coming up to Him, offering Him sour wine, and saying, “If You are the King of the Jews, save Yourself!” Now there was also an inscription above Him, “THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.” One of the criminals who were hanged there was hurling abuse at Him, saying, “Are You not the Christ? Save Yourself and us!” But the other answered, and rebuking him said, “Do you not even fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed are suffering justly, for we are receiving what we deserve for our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” And he was saying, “Jesus, remember me when You come in Your kingdom!” And He said to him, “Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise.”

Father Forgive Them

After Jesus’ Triumphal entry into Jerusalem, five days before the Passover, he returns to Bethany where he stays each night. Monday and Tuesday he returns to the temple where he begins to confront the religious leaders about their practices and his identity.
On Wednesday he once again confronts these leaders calling them hypocrites and snakes and then from the Mount of Olives, Jesus mourns Jerusalem’s rejection and it coming destruction.
On Wednesday he once again confronts these leaders calling them hypocrites and snakes and then from the Mount of Olives, Jesus mourns Jerusalem’s rejection and it coming destruction.
Following the last supper on Thursday evening, Jesus goes to the Garden of Gethsemane with his disciples and there he prays.
He pours out his distress to the Father as He goes through a deep spiritual struggle.
Luke 22:44 NASB95PARA
And being in agony He was praying very fervently; and His sweat became like drops of blood, falling down upon the ground.
: “And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and His sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.” An angel appeared to Him and Jesus is strengthened in his resolve to carry out His Father’s will (verse 43).
An angel appeared to Him and Jesus is strengthened in his resolve to carry out His Father’s will (verse 43)
Luke 22:44 NASB95PARA
And being in agony He was praying very fervently; and His sweat became like drops of blood, falling down upon the ground.
An angel appeared to Him and Jesus is strengthened in his resolve to carry out His Father’s will (verse 43)
It is at this point that he is betrayed by Judas and arrested.
It is at this point that he is betrayed by Judas and arrested.
He faces a trial sometime after midnight and is led away with His hands bound.
Luke 22:63 NASB95PARA
Now the men who were holding Jesus in custody were mocking Him and beating Him,
tells us that Jesus is blindfolded and beaten while the soldiers mock Him.
Luke 23:33 - 43
Father Forgive Them
After Jesus’ Triumphal entry into Jerusalem, five days before the Passover, he returns to Bethany where he stays each night. Monday and Tuesday he returns to the temple where he begins to confront the religious leaders about their practices and his identity. On Wednesday he once again confronts these leaders calling them hypocrites and snakes and then from the Mount of Olives, Jesus mourns Jerusalem’s rejection and it coming destruction.
Following the last supper on Thursday evening, Jesus goes to the Garden of Gethsemane with his disciples and there he to prays. He pours out his distress to the Father as He goes through a deep spiritual struggle. Luke 22:44: “And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and His sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.” An angel appeared to Him and Jesus is strengthened in his resolve to carry out His Father’s will (verse 43).
It is at this point that he is betrayed by Judas and arrested. He faces a trial sometime after midnight and is led away with His hands bound. Luke 22:63 tells us that Jesus is blindfolded and beaten while the soldiers mock Him.
He is brought before Pilate, transferred to Herod and sent back to Pilate. In an attempt to appease the people.
Pilate has Jesus scourged.
A scarlet robe is put around his shoulders.
A crown of thorns is pressed onto His head.
A staff is placed in his hands and his persecutors kneel down before Him and mock Him, saying “Hail, King of the Jews!”
().
Matthew 27:29–30 NASB95PARA
And after twisting together a crown of thorns, they put it on His head, and a reed in His right hand; and they knelt down before Him and mocked Him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” They spat on Him, and took the reed and began to beat Him on the head.
Matthew 27:29
Jesus is given the cross (crossbeam) to carry to the place of the skull called Golgotha – outside the city walls.
Simon of Cyrene is enlisted to help carry this piece of slivered timber to the place where He would be crucified.
All four gospel writers record this event, but Luke, the physician, who usually gives us greatest detail, in these verses actually gives us a very brief account. In fact, in the Greek, only three words are used to describe it.
We know more about the specifics of crucifixion from how the Romans recorded the gory details: “When they came to the place called the Skull, there they crucified Him, along with the criminals, one on His right, and the other on the left.”
They placed Jesus in the middle to signify that of the three, He was the one most worthy of death.
Listen to Peter’s perspective on how Jesus responds to all this... :
1 Peter 2:23 NASB95PARA
and while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously;
“When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when He suffered, he made no threats. Instead, He entrusted Himself to Him who judges justly.”
According to the Scriptures Jesus from the cross is said to have spoken 7 last words – seven phrases in the course of 6 hours from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Luke records the first and the last of these in 23:34, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing. And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.”
And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.” In the midst of the torture of the cross, the physical pain, the anticipation of the horror of separation from God, His Father, the weight of the sin of the world bearing down upon him, what do we hear him saying? “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.” His request is not for Himself but for “them” ­ and us. His first words is to plead in prayer for those who are in desperate need of the Father’s mercy. When man had done his worst, Jesus prayed, not for justice, but for mercy.
In the midst of the torture of the cross, the physical pain, the anticipation of the horror of separation from God, His Father, the weight of sin bearing down upon him, what do we hear him saying?
“Father forgive them, for they do not know not what they are doing.”
His request is not for Himself but for “them.” It is for us.
His first word is to plead in prayer for those who are in desperate need of the Father’s mercy.
When man had done his worst, Jesus prayed, not for justice, but for mercy.
This verse is in the imperfect tense. What that means is that Jesus continued praying. It wasn’t just a one-time request.
When the nails were pounded through his hands and his feet, He prayed, “Father, forgive them.”
When the cross dropped into place between two criminals, He prayed, “Father, forgive them.”
When they divided up his only earthly possessions below the cross, he prayed, “Father, forgive them.”
As the rulers sneered at Him He prayed, “Father, forgive them.”
When the soldiers mocked Him, he prayed, “Father, forgive them.”
When the sign, “This is the King of the Jews” was hammered above His head, he prayed, “Father, forgive them.”

The public ministry of Jesus began with prayer at his baptism in :

Luke 3:21 NASB95PARA
Now when all the people were baptized, Jesus was also baptized, and while He was praying, heaven was opened,
He flooded heaven with His prayers during His three-year teaching time, urging His followers to do the same.

His time on earth ended with prayer as He continuously repeated this prayer. And, as says,

And, as says,
Hebrews 7:25 NASB95PARA
Therefore He is able also to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.
He “always lives to make intercession for us.” Prayer permeated everything He did, and still does as our great High Priest.

The first of these last words of Jesus reveals to us...

1. ...Prophecy fulfilled

1. Prophecy fulfilled

Isaiah 53:1–12 ESV
Who has believed what he has heard from us? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? For he grew up before him like a young plant, and like a root out of dry ground; he had no form or majesty that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth. By oppression and judgment he was taken away; and as for his generation, who considered that he was cut off out of the land of the living, stricken for the transgression of my people? And they made his grave with the wicked and with a rich man in his death, although he had done no violence, and there was no deceit in his mouth. Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him; he has put him to grief; when his soul makes an offering for guilt, he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days; the will of the Lord shall prosper in his hand. Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied; by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant, make many to be accounted righteous, and he shall bear their iniquities. Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong, because he poured out his soul to death and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sin of many, and makes intercession for the transgressors.
READ:
Over 700 years before Jesus was even born, Isaiah prophesied at least 10 things about the suffering of the Savior: He would be despised and rejected by men (3) He would be a man of sorrows and familiar with suffering (3) He would be afflicted by God because of our sins (4, 8) He would be pierced for our transgressions (5) He would be wounded and bruised by men (7) He would be led like a lamb to slaughter and be silent before His accusers (7) He would be buried in a rich man’s tomb (9) He would be a guilt offering (10) He would be numbered with the transgressors (12) He would pray for those transgressors (12)
When Jesus prayed, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they’re doing,” He was fulfilling a particular prophecy from :
“For He bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.” It is this Jesus who is the promised Messiah.

Here is the one who knew no sin, who because sin for us interceding for those whose sins he bears.

This cry from the cross reveals to us . . .

This cry from the cross reveals to us . . .

This cry from the cross reveals to us . . .

Prophecy Fulfilled

2. The DEPRAVITY of the human heart.

2. The condition of the human heart. Those who crucified Jesus were not puppets in some grand cosmic scheme to put the son of God to death. Jesus recognized that those who had crucified Him did not really know what they were doing. These were people who could see, but were blind. His enemies knew full well what they meant when they cried out, “Crucify Him. Crucify Him,” but they were ignorant of the magnitude of their crime. Here is the one who is the King of Glory, the King of Kings, and Lord of Lords. In the hardness of their hearts they did not know what they were doing.
Those who crucified Jesus were not puppets in some grand cosmic scheme to put the son of God to death. Luke words...
Acts 2:22–23 NASB95PARA
“Men of Israel, listen to these words: Jesus the Nazarene, a man attested to you by God with miracles and wonders and signs which God performed through Him in your midst, just as you yourselves know— this Man, delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death.
Acts 2:23 NASB95PARA
this Man, delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death.
Luke
Jesus recognized that those who had crucified Him did not really know what they were doing.
Jesus recognized that those who had crucified Him did not really know what they were doing.
These were people who could see, but were blind.
His enemies knew full well what they meant when they cried out, “Crucify Him. Crucify Him,” but they were ignorant of the magnitude of their crime.
Here is the one who is the King of Glory, the King of Kings, and Lord of Lords.
In the hardness of their hearts they did not know what they were doing.

This cry from the cross reveals to us . . .

Prophecy Fulfilled

The Condition of the Human Heart

3. The DEPTH of man’s need.

It’s not just those who were involved that day in the crucifixion of Jesus.
We are all sinners in need of forgiveness. Because our hearts are hard and our eyes are blind our need is great.
In a very real sense, we were all there when He was executed.
Galatians 3:13 NASB95PARA
Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”—
Galatians 3:13 NASB95PARA
Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”—
It is our sins that put him to death. While we were yet sinners Christ died for us (Rom 5:8)Jesus says, “Father, forgive them . . .
Romans 5:8 NASB95PARA
But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
Ephesians 5:2 NASB95PARA
and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.
Jesus says, “Father, forgive them . . .
Ephesians 5:2

Jesus says, “Father, forgive them . . .

“This word ‘forgive’ is the same word that Matthew uses in 19:14 when Jesus says, “let (ἀφίημι) the little children come to me . . .”
The same word is used in when the soldiers reached up with a sponge filled with vinegar to wet the lips of Jesus,
“Leave (ἀφίημι) [the ESV = Wait] Him alone, Let’s see if Elijah comes to save him.” – Don’t interfere – wait – hold back.
Father Forgive Them = “Father, hold back pouring out your wrath upon them.”

Even in the midst of God’s judgment against sin we see His grace.

It was 40 more years before Jerusalem was destroyed. How many in that time turned from their evil ways because of God’s grace and the intercession of Christ.
It’s been over 2000 years since his crucifixion.
How many more in that time have turned from their evil ways to the God who holds back his wrath vs. sin?

This cry from the cross reveals to us . . .

Prophecy Fulfilled

The DEPRAVITY of the Human Heart

The DEPTH of Man’s Need

4. The identification of Jesus.

Notice that Jesus shouted out this first cry to the Father.
Up until this point, He himself forgives the sins of others without asking the Father to intercede.
: To the paralytic on a bed....“Take courage (heart), son; your sins are forgiven.”
Jesus says to the woman who washed his feet with her tears, “Your sins are forgiven.”
Why now does He now ask have God, the Father, to forgive sins, instead of directly pronouncing forgiveness Himself?
JIt is because Jesus is now actively identifying with His people and is about to give His life as a ransom for many. His death is full payment for the penalty our sin demands. He pleads with the Father to accept the sacrifice of His blood on behalf of his people he has come to save.
He is our representative. He took my place - He gives his live in my stead
Romans 6:8 NASB95PARA
Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him,
Romans 6:10 NASB95PARA
For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God.
When He ministered on the earth He had the power and authority to forgive sins because He knew that they would be dealt with on the cross.
Now, He intercedes on behalf of hard-hearted stubborn willfully disobedient people like you and me as He pleads for the Father to accept the blood sacrifice of His life as he hangs on the cross.

He who needed no forgiveness died for those of us who are condemned without it.

He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” (2 Corinthians 5:21, NASB95)
2 Corinthians 5:21 NASB95PARA
He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” (, NASB95)
“Father Forgive them for they know not what they do.”
Here is Jesus fulfilling prophecy as the suffering servant.
Here is Jesus exposing the DEPRAVITY of our human hearts and the depth of man’s need.
Here is our Great High Priest ‘once offering up of Himself a sacrifice to satisfy divine justice as He reconciles us to God, as he makes continual intercession for us.
In an attempt to appease the people, Pilate has Jesus scourged. A scarlet robe is put around his shoulders. A crown of thorns is pressed onto His head. A staff is placed in his hands and his persecutors kneel down before Him and mock Him, saying “Hail, King of the Jews!” ().
And he does all this to show God’s love toward us.
Jesus is given the crossbeam to carry to the place of the skull called Golgotha – outside the city walls. Simon of Cyrene is enlisted to help carry this piece of slivered timber to the place where He would be crucified.
The cross shows us the extent of Christ’s love for those he came to seek, but also the depth of God’s love he came to save.
All three gospel writers record this event, but Luke, the physician, who usually gives us greatest detail, in these verses actually gives us the briefest account. In fact, in the Greek, only three words are used to describe it. We know more about the specifics of crucifixion from how the Romans recorded the gory details: “When they came to the place called the Skull, there they crucified Him, along with the criminals, one on His right, and the other on the left.” They placed Jesus in the middle to signify that of the three, He was the one most worthy of death.
It is here at the Cross that we see the wrath of God poured out against sin, but this is also the place where we see God’s love expressed in Christ’s words
Listen to Peter’s perspective on how Jesus responded in : “When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when He suffered, he made no threats. Instead, He entrusted Himself to Him who judges justly.”
Father forgive them....
According to the Scriptures Jesus from the cross is said to have spoken 7 last words – seven phrases in the course of 6 hours from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Luke records the first of these in 23:34, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing. And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.” In the midst of the torture of the cross, the physical pain, the anticipation of the horror of separation from God, His Father, the weight of the sin of the world bearing down upon him, what do we hear him saying? “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.” His request is not for Himself but for “them” ­ and us. His first words is to plead in prayer for those who are in desperate need of the Father’s mercy. When man had done his worst, Jesus prayed, not for justice, but for mercy.
so that through faith in trust in Him we might be called the righteousness of God.
Galatians 2:20 NASB95PARA
I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.

Conclusion

This verse is in the imperfect tense. What that means is that Jesus prayed. It wasn’t just a one-time request. When the nails were pounded through his hands and his feet, He prayed, “Father, forgive them.” When the cross dropped into place between two criminals, He cried out, “Father, forgive them.” When they divided up his only earthly possessions below the cross, he exclaimed, “Father, forgive them.” As the rulers sneered at Him He replied, “Father, forgive them.” When the soldiers mocked Him, he shouted, “Father, forgive them.” When the sign, “This is the King of the Jews” was hammered above His head, he prayed, “Father, forgive them.”
Jesus was fulfilling the prophecy that He would make “intercession for the transgressors” (). To whom was He speaking? In reality, all of us. As Peter explained weeks later, “all the house of Israel” crucified Christ (). Then Peter told everyone in the temple that they “killed the Prince of life” (). Paul expanded the list of sinners to every human being ().
The public ministry of Jesus began with prayer at his baptism in : “…And as He was praying, heaven was opened.” He flooded heaven with His prayers during His three-year teaching time, urging His followers to do the same. His time on earth ended with prayer as He continuously repeated this prayer. And, as says, He “always lives to make intercession for us.” Prayer permeated everything He did, and still does as our great High Priest.
But Peter went on to say, “I know that you did it in ignorance, as did also your rulers” (). So does God lower His standard of righteousness to our level of ignorance? No! Ignorance is not innocence, so Peter urged them to repent—turn from the sins that Christ had to die for—and be forgiven.
This cry from the cross reveals to us . . . 1. Prophecy fulfilled: [] - Over 700 years before Jesus was even born, Isaiah prophesied at least 10 things about the suffering of the Savior: He would be despised and rejected by men (3) He would be a man of sorrows and familiar with suffering (3) He would be afflicted by God because of our sins (4, 8) He would be pierced for our transgressions (5) He would be wounded and bruised by men (7) He would be led like a lamb to slaughter and be silent before His accusers (7) He would be buried in a rich man’s tomb (9) He would a guilt offering (10) He would be numbered with the transgressors (12) He would pray for those transgressors (12) When Jesus prayed, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they’re doing,” He was fulfilling a precise prophecy from : “For He bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.” It is this Jesus who is the promised Messiah. 2. The condition of the human heart. Those who crucified Jesus were not puppets in some grand cosmic scheme to put the son of God to death. Jesus recognized that those who had crucified Him did not really know what they were doing. These were people who could see, but were blind. His enemies knew full well what they meant when they cried out, “Crucify Him. Crucify Him,” but they were ignorant of the magnitude of their crime. Here is the one who is the King of Glory, the King of Kings, and Lord of Lords. In the hardness of their hearts they did not know what they were doing.
Because of sin we, too, were enemies of God, He never turned cold-hearted toward us, as Jesus’ words here so powerfully demonstrate.
3. The magnitude of man’s need. It’s not just those who were involved in the crucifixion of Jesus. We’re sinners in need of forgiveness. Because our hearts are hard and our eyes are blind our need is great. In a very real sense, we were all there when He was executed. Jesus says, “Father, forgive them . . . “This word ‘forgive’ is the same word that Matthew uses in 19:14 when Jesus says, “let (ἀφίημι) the little children come to me . . .” The same word is used in when the soldiers reached up with a sponge filled with vinegar to wet the lips of Jesus, “Leave (ἀφίημι) [the ESV = Wait] Him alone, Let’s see if Elijah comes to save him.” – Don’t interfere – wait – hold back. “Father, hold back your wrath from pouring out upon them.” Even in the midst of God’s judgment we see His grace. It was 40 more years before Jerusalem was destroyed. How many in that time turned from their evil ways because of God’s grace and the intercession of Christ. It’s been over 2000years since his crucifixion. How many more in that time have turned from their evil ways to the God who holds back his wrath vs. sin?
Can we do anything less than strive to “love our enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you” ()?
4. The identification of Jesus. Notice that Jesus shouted out this first cry to the Father. Up until this point, He himself forgives the sins of others without asking the Father to intercede. : “Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven.” Jesus says to the woman who washed his feet with her tears, “Your sins are forgiven.” Why now does He ask to have sins forgiven, instead of directly pronouncing forgiveness Himself? It’s because Jesus is identified with His people and is about to give His life as the sin substitute. His death is full payment for the penalty of sin. He pleads with the Father to accept the sacrifice of His blood on our behalf. He is our representative. When He ministered on the earth He had the power and authority to forgive sins because He knew that they would be dealt with on the cross. Now, He intercedes on behalf of hard-hearted people like you and me as He pleads for the Father to accept the blood sacrifice of His life as he hangs on the cross. He who needed no forgiveness died for those of us who are condemned without it.
He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” (, NASB95)
“Father Forgive them for they know not what they do.” Here is Jesus fulfilling prophecy as the suffering servant. Here is Jesus exposing the hardness of our human hearts and the magnitude of man’s need. Here is our Great High Priest ‘once offering up of Himself a sacrifice to satisfy divine justice as He reconciles us to God, as he makes continual intercession for us.
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