LUKE 23:32-34

32 And two others also, who were criminals, were being led away to be put to death with Him. 33 And 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. 34 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.

First Words Are Important, Last Words Are Important

A Person's Theology must Hold up at the Cross

Jesus made this comment after man had done his worse. When did He utter this phrase?

When men had TRIED HIM,

When men had MOCKED HIM,

When men had LIED ABOUT HIM,

When men had SCOURGED HIM,

When men had SPIT UPON HIM,

When men had CRUCIFIED HIM


I. The Theology of Forgiveness Answers Wrong Theology. 

 34 Jesus was saying, "Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing."

A. The Wrong Theology, Called Universalism.
1. Only One of the Thieves were saved.

B. The Wrong Theology, Sin is Just a Struggle in Man's Uphill Climb.
1. It Nailed Christ to the Cross.

C. The Wrong Theology, I've Sinned too Much.
1. The Thief on the Cross was Saved.

D. The Wrong Theology, Man Doesn't Need Forgiveness.
1. The Thief really was Asking for Forgiveness.

E. The Wrong Theology, Jesus Is Just a Good Man.
1. Jesus Prayed for Others Not Himself.

II. A Theology of Forgiveness Answers . . Where Is God When We Have Sinned.

 34 Jesus was saying, "Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing."

A. God is still on the throne, and Jesus Goes Directly to the Father

1. Christ Went First to the Father

2. The Father Is Still on the Throne
        a.    If Proper Answers Come They Will Come from Him

III. A Theology of Forgiveness Answers Who Can Forgive Sin.

 34 Jesus was saying, "Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing."

 [Father forgive them] [Pater  (grk 3962), afes  (grk 863) autois  (grk 846)]. Second aorist active imperative of [afieemi]  (grk 863), with dative case. Some of the oldest and best documents do NOT contain this verse, and yet, while it is not certain that it is a part of Luke's Gospel, it is certain that Jesus spoke these words, for they are utterly unlike any one else. Jesus evidently is praying for the Roman soldiers, who were only obeying, but not for the Sanhedrin.  (from Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament p 284-85)

A.    While on the Cross Jesus Ask the Father to Forgive
        1. Earlier Jesus Had Forgiven Sins

Mat 9:6 "But in Order That You May Know That the Son of Man Has Authority On Earth to Forgive Sins"-- Then He *Said to the Paralytic-- "Rise, Take Up Your Bed, and Go Home."

Luk 7:47 "For this Reason I Say to You, Her Sins, Which Are Many, Have Been Forgiven, for She Loved Much; but He Who Is Forgiven Little, Loves Little." Luk 7:48 and He Said to Her, "Your Sins Have Been Forgiven."

B.    Jesus Bears Our Sin on the Cross

2 Cor. 5:21 He Made Him Who Knew No Sin {To Be} Sin on Our Behalf, That We Might Become the Righteousness of God in Him.

        1.    On His Death Bed He Calls on the Father to Forgive Sins

C.    What does Forgiveness Mean? "Forgiveness" Lets Not Talk about it Anymore
        1.    Two Greek Words for Forgive
                    a.    Short Time Forgiveness
                    b.    Long Term Forgiveness
                            1) Who Nailed the Nails? It Is Forgotten

A pastor friend named O'dell Clay came to help our church in a Soul Winning Clinic. He told the story of a lady in the hospital and a minister came to her and said "I've Come to Forgive You of Your Sin". The Lady asked may "I see your hands" and then said "The One Who Forgives Me Has Nail Prints in His hands".


IV. A Theology of Forgiveness Answers Who Needs Forgiveness.

 34 Jesus was saying, "Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing."

A. Forgive Them
        1. Jesus Ask for the Forgiveness of Others
        2. Jesus in Asking for Their Forgiveness; Is Saying Continue to Allow Me To Bear Their Sin.
                a.    That's the Only Way they Can Be Forgiven
                b.    He ask God to take Our Sins and Put Them Behind Him

Isa 38:17 "Lo, for {My Own} Welfare I Had Great Bitterness; it Is Thou Who Hast Kept My Soul from the Pit of Nothingness, for Thou Hast Cast All My Sins Behind Thy Back.

To Be Remembered No More. Psa 103:12
"as Far as the East Is from the West, So Far Has He Removed Our Transgressions from Us. "

B. Forgive Them is Present Tense; He Continued to Say Forgive Them.

        1. In the Beatitudes; the Lord Said Love Your Enemies.
Mat 5:44 "But I Say to You, Love Your Enemies, and Pray for Those Who Persecute You

        2. He Continued to Practiced What He Preached.

        3.    The Standard for Judging Forgiveness.
                a.    Simon Ask How Many Times Should I Forgive 70 Times

A Couple's Child was Killed by a Drunk Driver. Their Hate Turned to Forgiveness. They Began to Care for the Man and Loved Him to Salvation.


Our Sins Can Be Forgiven

V. A Theology of Forgiveness Answers Questions of Ignorance.

 34 Jesus was saying, "Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing."

A. Ignorance of the Enormity of the Sin

B. Ignorance that They Have Committed Sin.

David Said Forgive Me of Known and Unknown Sins. Psa 19:12
" Who Can Discern {His} Errors? Acquit Me of Hidden {Faults.} "

Even Those Who Sin Ignorantly Need Forgiveness. Acts 3:17-19

"And Now, Brethren, I Know That You Acted in Ignorance, Just as Your Rulers Did Also. "But the Things Which God Announced Beforehand by the Mouth of All the Prophets, That His Christ Should Suffer, He Has Thus Fulfilled. "Repent Therefore and Return, That Your Sins May Be Wiped Away, In Order That Times of Refreshing May Come from the Presence of the Lord;

1 COR. 2:8 {The Wisdom} Which None of the Rulers of this Age Has Understood; For If They Had Understood It, They Would Not Have Crucified the Lord of Glory;

1 Tim 1:13 Even Though I Was Formerly a Blasphemer and a Persecutor and a Violent Aggressor. And Yet I Was Shown Mercy, Because I Acted Ignorantly In Unbelief;

1 Tim 1:14 and the Grace of Our Lord Was More than Abundant, with the Faith And Love Which Are {Found} in Christ Jesus.

A young child in England was lost. A police officer took him to the police station and quizzed him to try and find out where he lived. One officer mentioned the cross at West Minister Abbey and the boys face lit up and he said "Take Me to the Cross I Can Find My Way Home from There". These word of Christ take you to the cross. You can find your way home from there.


Is this Prayer Answered?

Yes;   In the Centurion at the cross said truly this was the Son of God.

Yes;   On the Day of Pentecost

Yes;   In Acts 4 - 5,000

Yes;   In Acts 6:7 Many of the Priest

Yes;   In the fact of your salvation.

Yes;   In the salvation that is available in Christ for you Today.


There must Be a Personal Response. Rembrandt Painting the Crowd At the Cross; someone said "This Person Looks Like You " Rembrandt said "I was there".


"I Saw One Hanging on a Tree, In Agony and Blood,
He Fixed His Languid Eyes on Me, As near His Cross I Stood.
Sure Never till My Latest Breath, Can I Forget That Look;
It Seemed to Charge with His Death, Tho Not a Word He Spoke.

My Conscience Felt and Owned the Guilt, It Plunged Me in Despair;
I Saw My Sins His Blood Had Spilt, And Helped to Nail Him There.
Alas, I Know Not What I Did But Now My Tears Are Vain
Where Can My Trembling Soul Be Hid, For I the Lord Have Slain?

A Second Look He Gave Which Said, `I Freely All Forgive';
This Blood Is for Thy Ransom Paid, I Died That Thou May'st Live.
O Can it Be, upon the Tree. The Savior Died for Me?
My Soul Is Filled, My Heart Is Thrilled, To Think He Died for Me."


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