Countdown to Thanksgiving – Day 13

Let’s face it – 2020 has been a strange year.
But God was not surprised by all the events that have happened.

Would you join me in a four-week countdown to Thanksgiving?
When we stop for a moment, we realize we have much to be thankful for.

And Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” And they cast lots to divide his garments.

(Luke 23:34, English Standard Version)

As we looked at Psalm 139 earlier this week, we saw how God knows us and pursues us in love. God’s love even extends to us when we are disobedient to Him and go our own way. The old-fashioned word for this is sin.

God loved us so much that He paid the penalty for our sin through the sacrifice of His son Jesus on the cross, where Jesus’ blood and death was the payment in full, the forgiveness for the sins of all humans, past, present, and future.

God’s forgiveness includes me and you.

We get a small picture of this in Jesus’ forgiving the soldiers who nailed Him to the cross. Our Bible text today indicates that Jesus was repeating this statement over and over, asking His heavenly Father to forgive them, because they did not have a clue who He was, or what they were doing.

Meanwhile, the soldiers ignored Jesus and gambled over Jesus’ last worldly possessions, His clothes.

If anyone had the right to be angry and not forgive, it was Jesus. But He chose forgiveness for the ones who were putting Him to death.

If Jesus, the holy, sinless Son of God, could forgive the soldiers who carried out the orders to execute Jesus on the cross, who am I to not forgive those who have wronged me for offenses of so much less?

Jesus kept saying, “Father, forgive them, because they don’t know what they’re doing.” Then they divided his clothes among them by throwing dice.

(Luke 23:34, International Standard Version)

Jesus, thank You for giving Your life for mine, trading Your sinlessness and holiness for my rebellion, trading my filthy rags of unrighteousness for Your offer of Your righteousness and a new life in You.

Lord, as You have forgiven me, help me to forgive those who have wronged me. If I can’t say anything else, may I remember Jesus’ words: “Father, forgive them, because they don’t know what they’re doing.”

And Lord, help me to see where I have sinned against others, and to seek their forgiveness and restoration of relationships.

This is big, Lord – something I can’t do on my own… only through Your example and You living in me that enables me to forgive and be forgiven.

Thank You, Jesus.


Thankful for being forgiven, and learning to forgive others,