“And when they had come to the place called Calvary, there they crucified Him, and the criminals, one on the right hand and the other on the left. Then Jesus said, ‘Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.’ And they divided His garments and cast lots” (Luke 23:33-34).
Near the end of the Final Week in the life of Jesus, the greatest tragedy—and, at the same time, the greatest blessing—in the history of the world took place: it was the crucifixion of our Lord.
In spite of the injustices that had been levied against Him on every hand, He prays for His enemies, who, indeed, did not know what they were doing. In putting Jesus to death, they were playing into the hands of the Father who had in mind for this event to bring about the world’s greatest blessing.
In the shedding of His blood, and thus sacrificing His life on the cross, Jesus paid the ultimate price so that all mankind could have the possibility of going to Heaven. We should never allow our minds to be far from this profound, yet sobering, idea: He died so that God could forgive our sins and save us from everlasting punishment.