The greatest sinners may, through Christ, hope to find mercy. Even for His persecutors and murderers, He prayed, ‘Father, forgive them.’ On the Day of Pentecost some of these very people were forgiven by this very God (Acts 2:22, Acts 2:37-38, Acts 2:41).
Jesus’ words of forgiveness were directed to the Roman soldiers who had beaten Him so badly that He could not carry His own cross to Calvary. Jesus had the power to stop those who beat, tortured, and crucified Him (Acts 10:17-19). Surely this Jesus who, with just the sound of His voice, took a dead man and made him alive, could take a live man and make him dead. But He did not punish them nor stop the proceedings. He allowed the soldiers to mock Him with a purple robe and a septre and a crown of thorns. He let them beat Him on the face while He was blindfolded and ask Him, ‘Prophesy! Who hit you?’ (Luke 22:64).
Little did they know that He could tell them who hit Him. They beat Him; He blessed them. There was no blindfold when they nailed Him to the Cross. Jesus did not respond as others they had crucified. Others responded to crucifixion by either spewing vile profanity or weeping for pity. The soldiers thought Jesus’ life was in their hands; they did not know He held their lives in His hands.
Jesus illustrated Mark Twain’s definition of forgiveness: ‘Forgiveness is the fragrance that the flower leaves on the heel of the one who crushed it.’
How could anyone reject such a Savior?
From House to House