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April 11, 2019

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Wednesday of Lent 5                                      Trinity Lutheran Church

10 April 2019                                                    Murdock, NE


+ Jesu Juva +





It was the third hour and there they crucified Him.


In the midst of the agonizing crucifixion comes one of the most incredible prayers ever uttered in the history of the world. “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” Jesus prays for His enemies. He does not hate them. He loves them.


They sin against Him. He does not issue threats of payback. No words like: “Just wait until after the resurrection and I’ll get you!”   Instead, Jesus prays for their forgiveness. “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”


Forgiveness. That’s what Jesus is all about. It is what His name Jesus means. Remember? “You will give Him the name Jesus because He will save His people from their sins,” (Mt. 1:21).


As He lived so He dies. FORGIVING! Just as He lived for others so He dies.


This is precisely why the Son of Man is lifted up on the pole of the cross. It’s all about forgiveness.


Even for you! Just as Isaiah preached it in the Old Testament: “He was wounded for our transgressions. He was bruised for our iniquities … And the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all … He was numbered with the transgressors and He bore the sin of many.”


I’m here to tell you: you are forgiven! Your sins are atoned for! “How can that be?” you ask. Because Jesus prayed: “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”   Because on the cross Jesus answered for all your sin. His Good Friday Blood is the payment that redeems you. The Blood of Jesus purifies you from all sin. Because Jesus said on the cross: “The salvation job that I’ve come to do IS FINISHED!”


No wonder He taught you to pray similarly in the Lord’s Prayer: “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.”   You forgive sinners as He has forgiven you. Everyone. Not just your friends and family but even your enemies. Not just the little sins but also the big ones.


You even learn to pray like Jesus when you’re sinned against in very harsh ways: “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”


And then like Jesus who prayed, “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit,” you pray likewise. “Father, into your hands I commend myself, my body and soul and all things” as you always trust in Jesus’ forgiveness of you. His forgiveness has its way with you as you sincerely forgive and gladly do good to those that sin against you. Isn’t that remarkable? Is that incredible? That the Lord Jesus would use you in such as way? To forgive others as He has forgiven you? It sure is! What joy!


In the Name of Jesus.


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