Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing." And they divided up his clothes by casting lots. Luke 23:34
As presented on *The Lutheran Hour® by Dr. Oswald Hoffmann, March 4, 1973.
If there is anything to Lent at all, it is the cross of Jesus Christ.
There you see a piece of raw life. It isn’t a stage, but the world in which we live. In that world a real man died for real people. Because of His death there is real forgiveness for the real sins of those real people—sins they don’t like to talk about, sins they don’t want to recognize, sins that damn and kill.
The cross was an outrage at the time, and it still is. It was never meant to be a genteel fixture in a stately gothic cathedral. The men who went out to tell His story lived in the middle of a world that still considered crucifixion not a religious act but an outrage. They said His cross was a skandalon, a fatal obstacle to faith.
Real people need forgiveness. The heart of forgiveness is the cross of Jesus Christ, a real man. He is not a little God created by His followers. He is not a religious figure popping up in the pages of history. This is God’s Son, crucified as a real man on a real cross, proving His Sonship once and for all: “Father, forgive them,” He said, “They do not know what they are doing”
Our world needs redemption. It cannot live without His forgiveness. In His cross, the death of that real man by that real instrument of torture, there is forgiveness. That’s the Good News of God in Jesus Christ.
Lord God, forgive us our sins for the sake of Your Son and our Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave His all for us on His cross. Amen.
Taken from A Message of Hope: Proclaiming the Cross (selections from messages broadcast on *The Lutheran Hour, celebrating 75 years of proclaiming the promise).
Copyright © 2006 by Lutheran Hour Ministries
*The Lutheran Hour is the longest-running Christian radio broadcast in the world. It is a production of Lutheran Hour Ministries. For more information, visit www.lutheranhour.org.