For they know not what they do ...
Two others, who were criminals, were led away to be put to death with him. And when they came to the place that is called The Skull, there they crucified him, and the criminals, one on his right and one on his left. And Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” And they cast lots to divide his garments. And the people stood by, watching, but the rulers scoffed at him, saying, “He saved others; let him save himself, if he is the Christ of God, his Chosen One!” The soldiers also mocked him, coming up and offering him sour wine and saying, “If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!” There was also an inscription over him, “This is the King of the Jews.”
The circus has begun and the folly of humanity is on trial. While three men suffer the vilest acts in humanity come forth. People stand by gawking. Men gamble for the clothes of the suffering. Religious leaders sneer and laugh with devilish glee. Soldiers join in and pretend to offer to quench the thirst of the suffering. The image painted here is one of darkness. There does not seem to be any hope for the people watching these men die.
Then, from one of the crosses, a man speaks and light enters the darkness. In a few words Jesus turns the circus into something beautiful. Yes, the darkness is still there but something has changed. The condemned Messiah has taken control of the atmosphere. With one sentence he proclaims that FORGIVENESS REIGNS!! And I can hardly take it in - mockers are forgiven.. gamblers forgiven.. thieves forgiven.. murderers forgiven. Hallelujah!
Help me today Lord to change the atmosphere all around me. Help me to proclaim forgiveness.