Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Luke 23:33-34 (New International Version):
"When they came to the place called the Skull, there they crucified him, along with the criminals—one on his right, the other on his left. Jesus said, 'Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.'"
Theological Perspective: Christ's petition for the Father to forgive the ignorant murderers prefigures the nature of forgiveness for the rest of us once Christ was crucified. In effect, once Christ was crucified and his blood was sacrificed voluntarily, our forgiveness was accomplished before we asked for it. So now, we don't necessarily need to ask for forgiveness (though it is a good practice, and as Bonhoeffer noted, keeps us from thinking of forgiveness purely as a reflective activity). We just need to live in that forgiveness, and ask the Holy Spirit to quicken that forgiveness in our lives.