From my friend Doug Webster:
On the cross the Incarnate One hides his majesty in order to reveal his mercy. The will and purpose of the Son is one with the will and purpose of the Father. “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mk 10:45). The forgiveness of the Father is found in the obedience of the Son.
And who did Jesus pray for? He prayed for the soldiers who nailed his hands and feet and thrust the crown of thorns upon his head. He prayed for Pilate, who washed his hands of Jesus and declared, “I am innocent of this man’s blood!” He prayed for the crowds who shouted, “Crucify him! Crucify him!” Jesus prayed for the Sanhedrin, who sought to condemn him on false charges. He prayed for the chief high priest, who charged him with blasphemy. Jesus prayed for them all, even for his disciples who disowned him and fled. He prayed for you and me.
“Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing?” And what were they ignorant of? Did the soldiers know they were crucifying the King of kings and Lord of lords? Did Pilate know that the placard he had written for the cross was true? Did the crowds know who they were mocking and jeering? Did the disciples know who they were abandoning?
Forgiveness is received, not imposed. Turning to God in repentance is important for accepting the mercy of God.
This is an excerpt from a Good Friday message Doug Webster is giving today.