Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.
After Jesus was nailed to the cross and the cross was raised up and dropped into the hole in the ground so that His death could begin, He cried out, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” Jesus had to forgive the ones who were crucifying Him or His death would not have been a clean and holy sacrifice.
When we do something and unforgiveness is attached to it or our deed comes through a cloud of unforgiveness, it taints and soils the deed.
The greatest act of love ever displayed was when God the Father gave His Only Begotten Son as a sacrifice for a lost and dying world that had and would reject Him. Yet that gift would have been soiled had Jesus carried unforgiveness with Him to His death.
There is nothing easy or pleasant about suffering and being abused, lied on, mistreated, taken advantage of and executed and yet the Bible says in Hebrews 12:2, “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
Jesus had a vision of and understood the joy set before Him and therefore He was able to forgive those that were crucifying Him. If we are looking at only what is going on around us, it is impossible to forgive those who are crucifying us because all we can see is the injustice of the situation. However, when we learn to look past the injustice of the current situation and get a vision of the joy set before us, we will be able to forgive those mistreating us.
Jesus’ death was pleasing to the LORD because there was no unforgiveness attached to it. Although we may be in the middle of being crucified, unjustly, by human beings, our sacrifice will be pleasing to the Father when it is done with a spirit of forgiveness and not through unforgiveness.