Links to elsewhere on this Web site:   /apologetics.html   /book.html   /doctrinal.html  /essays.html  /links.html /sermonettes.html  /webmaster.html    Home Page, click here:    /index.html


Does Islam cause terrorism?  Click here: /Apologeticshtml/Moral Equivalency Applied Islamic History 0409.htm

Is the Bible Godís Word?  Click here: /Apologeticshtml/Is the Bible the Word of God.htm

Why does God Allow Evil?  Click here: /Apologeticshtml/Why Does God Allow Evil 0908.htm

Is Christian teaching from ancient paganism? /Bookhtml/Paganism influence issue article Journal 013003.htm

Should Godís existence be proven? /Apologeticshtml/Should the Bible and God Be Proven Fideism vs WCG.htm

Does the Bible teach blind faith?  Click here: /doctrinalhtml/Gospel of John Theory of Knowledge.htm



Why Did Jesus on the Cross Ask the Father to Forgive Others Instead of Doing It Directly Himself?


While being crucified, Jesus asked the Father to forgive those who were crucifying Him instead of doing it directly Himself.  He did this partly in order to fulfill prophecy and partly to serve as a model for Christians' own behavior.

This question concerns Jesus' statement in Luke 23:34:  "Jesus said, 'Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing," while He was being crucified.  Despite incredible physical suffering and being the victim of a judicial lynching, the Messiah still had the sublime presence of mind to love His enemies and to ask the Father to forgive them.  So why didn't Jesus just directly forgive them by saying so out loud since He had the power to forgive sins?  One reason was to fulfill prophecy.  What was the Messiah prophesied to do in Isaiah 53:7?  "For he bore the sin of many and made intercession for the transgressors."  If He had directly forgiven them by His own divine powers, it wouldn't have been an intercessory act.  By definition an intercessor or mediator is between two other parties as a third party.  He needed to pray to the Father in order to do this.

Another factor behind why Jesus didn't forgive them directly was that He was serving implicitly as a model for Christians.  Jesus directed us, in the model prayer that should serve as a basic outline for how to do this, to pray to the Father, not to Him.  The "Lord's prayer" begins with, "Our Father in heaven . . . forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors."  (Matthew 6:9, 12).  So He told us to pray to the Father, not to Him, as the routine procedure when praying.  As a result, the standard protocol is that Christians should pray to the Father for forgiveness primarily, not directly to the Son, who is the One who reconciles us to God (Romans 5:10-11).   (Matthew Henry's commentary, pp. 1907-1908, is helpful in making points on this issue).  

So Jesus asked the Father to forgive those crucifying Him because He fulfilled prophecy by doing so and also because was serving as a model for Christian conduct.


Eric V. Snow


Click here to access essays that defend Christianity:  /apologetics.html

Click here to access essays that explain Christian teachings:  /doctrinal.html


Click here to access notes for sermonettes:  /sermonettes.html


Why does God Allow Evil? Click here: /Apologeticshtml/Why Does God Allow Evil 0908.htm

May Christians work on Saturdays? Click here: /doctrinalhtml/Protestant Rhetoric vs Sabbath Refuted.htm

Should Christians obey the Old Testament law? /doctrinalhtml/Does the New Covenant Abolish the OT Law.htm

Do you have an immortal soul? Click here: /doctrinalhtml/Here and Hereafter.htm

Does the ministry have authority? Click here: /doctrinalhtml/Is There an Ordained Ministry vs Edwards.html

Is the United States the Beast? Click here: /doctrinalhtml/Are We the Beast vs Collins.htm

Should you give 10% of your income to your church? Click here: /doctrinalhtml/Does the Argument from Silence Abolish the Old Testament Law of Tithing 0205 Mokarow rebuttal.htm

Is Jesus God? Click here: /doctrinalhtml/Is Jesus God.htm

Will there be a third resurrection? Click here: /doctrinalhtml/Will There Be a Third Resurrection.htm



Links to elsewhere on this Web site:   /apologetics.html   /book.html   /doctrinal.html  /essays.html  /links.html /sermonettes.html  /webmaster.html     For the home page, click here:    /index.html