Forgiveness: Day 38 of Lent

Jesus said: ‘Father, forgive them; they do not know what they are doing.’

Luke 23:34

FORGIVING.  In New World (page 154), Dr. Dale translates the Greek verb “kept on praying.” Although there is only little support for this version from other translators, it is so consistent with the man himself and with his teaching about prayer that I have retained it. And the grittiness of it made such impact on me when I first read it that this is how I now always “hear” those words on Golgotha.


Luke alone records this saying.









Crucified Lord,

they say you kept on praying, “Father forgive them.”


Was it like a mantra, constantly repeated, gritting your teeth

against the pain of hammered nails?


Your first crucified “word” stresses that forgiveness is essential.


And you told us so often:’ that forgiveness must be unlimited or else it will turn back into violence. (“70 times 7 times,” you said.)


Only by forgiveness can we live together in peace or in harmony with God.


Crucified Lord,

we never know what we’re doing!


We don’t realize how much hurt we add to the web of the world’s need and pain:

have mercy upon us and forgive us.


Cluttered around the foot of the cross, we see sins like our own;

for we are Caiaphas, Judas, Pilate and the rest:

have mercy upon us and forgive us.


Forgive my sins, Lord – all my sins. Here, at the foot of the Cross,

let your forgiving word reach to the very heart of me.


From New World by Alan Dale



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