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Father, forgive them... - Luke 23:34

by Russell Carnley
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  1. Concerning the tragedy of Hurricane Katrina on the city of New Orleans, a question comes to mind. Why did they build it below sea level?! The fact is that the city was not always below sea level but it has receded 20 feet since it was built.
  2. This shows us the importance of a foundation, (Matt. 7:24-27; 1 Cor. 3:11).
  3. This is why Paul preached Christ and Him crucified instead of the philosophies of men, (1 Cor. 2:1,2).
  4. The cross was an altar upon which Christ was offered for the sins of the world, (2 Cor. 5:21).
  5. It was also a pulpit from which He preached some of the greatest and most profound words ever heard.
  6. These statements are short, but pregnant with meaning. Seven utterances- 3 spoken during the daylight and 4 in the darkness, (Mk. 15:25 3rd hr.; Lk. 23:44 darkness from 6th to 9th hr).
  7. In this lesson we will examine the 1st statement in Luke 23:34.
  1. Show Jesus is the Embodiment of the Truth He Proclaimed

    1. His message was distinct and demanding (Matt. 5-7).
      1. He lived it, (Acts 1:1; Jn. 1:1,14).
      2. These words probably spoken as the soldiers were driving the nails into His hands.
      3. These are words of peace in a storm of suffering, of pardon in a pit of depravity (1 Pet. 2:23; Rom. 12:21).
    2. The messenger's life must be consistent with his message. "I cannot hear what you're saying because I see who you are."
  2. Show the Fatherhood of God

    1. Who is God to you? Creator? Judge? King?
    2. All these are true, but distant
      1. Father speaks to our relationship with Him.
      2. When in sorrow or distress you don't want a judge or a king, but a Father.
      3. We need to distinguish between prayer and praise.
  3. Are the Fulfillment of Prophecy

    1. Isa. 53:12 "And made intercession for the transgressors."
    2. To intercede is to plead in the interest of another.
      1. The Holy Spirit does this for us (Rom. 8:26,27)
      2. Christ also (Rom. 8:34).
  4. Teach the Manner of Prayer

    1. Unselfishness in prayer- 1st 3 sayings for others, last 4 for Himself
    2. Encourages us to pray for sinners
      1. Moses did (Ex. 32:30-32)
      2. Samuel did (1 Sam. 7:8; 12:23)
    3. Teach us about answered prayer- time is involved (Jer. 42:4,7 ten days).
  5. Preach the Tragedy of Ignorance

    1. Hosea 4:6
    2. Acts 3:17; 1 Cor. 2:8


  1. Finally, in these words we can see the grace of forgiveness.
  2. Forgiveness is agreeing to accept the consequences of another's wrongdoing toward you.
  3. Forgiveness of others is required of us, (Eph. 4:32; Mt. 6:14,15).