A Time For Redemption
Written by Cassandra Matondo, FHI student and volunteer video producer
“Forgive them, Father, for they know not what they do.” Luke 23:34
Jesus’s prayer as He hung on the cross was a supplication for forgiveness, but it was also a plea for mercy and extended time. Time, so more people could come to hear the Word, confess, repent, and know the Father through Jesus Christ.
Biblical scholar and commentator Warren Wiersbe has offered insightful thoughts about this verse:
“We must not infer from His prayer that ignorance is a basis for forgiveness, or that those who sinned against Jesus were automatically forgiven because he prayed. Certainly both the Jews and the Romans were ignorant of the enormity of their sin, but that could not absolve them. The law provided a sacrifice for sins committed ignorantly, but there was no sacrifice for deliberate presumptuous sin. Our Lord’s intercession postponed God’s judgment on the nation of Israel for almost forty years, giving them additional opportunities to be saved.”
Certainly, God’s judgment could have befallen the people of Israel over two thousand years ago. But our Lord prayed, and there were forty years between the His death and the destruction of the nation of Israel.
Over two thousand years have passed since Jesus’s crucifixion, and I believe that King Jesus is in heaven right now, still praying this prayer over all the people on Earth—those who know Him, and those who don’t. He asks that God the Father, in His mercy, would extend time for more and more people to not only understand the enormity of sin, but also the bigger enormity of forgiveness and love available to each of us, all because of the great sacrifice made by Jesus Christ.
He is the one who makes “redeeming the time” possible, as Paul puts it in Ephesians 5. He makes space for this opportunity to find freedom in His love with each new day.
My prayer is this:
King Jesus, thank you that, when you were on the cross, with all the weight of the world on your shoulders, you were thinking of us. Thank you for taking the punishment for sins committed both ignorantly and deliberately. I pray that we would experience your loving mercy, and that more and more people would experience the same.
In your holy name,