From The Heart

Publish date: 08/15/1999

Luke 23:34  (NKJ)

34      Then Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do." And they divided His garments and cast lots.


Jesus, on the cross, was not angry with the people who crucified Him - He was forgiving. He knew that He was the sacrificial lamb, born to die for all mankind, that they might be forgiven and brought into right standing with the Father. They had no idea that they were fulfilling God’s plan as they crucified Jesus. They were sacrificing God’s perfect Lamb – pouring out His blood for the remission of sin. Even the high priest that pronounced the sentence of death on Jesus, in the same way that he pronounced sentence every Passover on the lambs sacrificed to cover the sin of the people with their blood. Jesus’ blood totally washes away sin.


Hebrews 4:15  (NKJ)

15      For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.


1 Peter 1:18-19  (NKJ)

18      knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers,

19      but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.


Jesus was not sacrificed as a sinner, deserving of punishment. He was sacrificed as the innocent and righteous – bearing the burden, punishment, and penalty for sin, that was not His own. Taking the place of those whom had no entrance into the presence of God and no rights with God.


Luke 23:39-41  (NKJ)

39      Then one of the criminals who were hanged blasphemed Him, saying, "If You are the Christ, save Yourself and us."

40      But the other, answering, rebuked him, saying, "Do you not even fear God, seeing you are under the same condemnation?

41      "And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward of our deeds; but this Man has done nothing wrong."


The religious were blinded by their religion and their jealousy and pride, but one of the sinners on the cross next to Jesus recognized Him as innocent and undeserving of the sentence of death passed down upon Him.


Luke 23:46-48  (NKJ)

46      And when Jesus had cried out with a loud voice, He said, "Father, 'into Your hands I commit My spirit.'" Having said this, He breathed His last.

47      So when the centurion saw what had happened, he glorified God, saying, "Certainly this was a righteous Man!"

48      And the whole crowd who came together to that sight, seeing what had been done, beat their breasts and returned.


When He died the centurion glorified God and acknowledged His uprightness – that He was innocent and just. The throngs who gathered to watch the spectacle of the crucifixion of the “King of the Jews” – left, beating their breasts – with the sense (no doubt) that a great injustice had been done.


Acts 2:24  (NIV)

24      But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him.


God, the Father, raised Jesus from the dead because He was innocent. He was in hell illegally. It was impossible for death, hell and the grave to hold Him. We were destined for hell without God. Jesus took our place in death and came back from where we could not. He exchanged places with us so that we could be partakers of His life and go with Him to heaven instead of to hell where we belonged. The innocent died for the guilty. Thank God for Jesus, the spotless, sinless Lamb of God, who died and rose again for our salvation and redemption and for the remission of our sins.