Luke 23:34, And Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”
The crowds wanted Him convicted; the majority wanted Him executed; the mob wanted to rule.
However, guilt was not to be found. One judge said, “I find no basis for a charge against this man.” Another judge confirmed his findings, the defendant was clearly not guilty, but the people had stirred themselves up at a massive rally. Many, without thinking or even bothering to learn about the situation, joined the loud demonstrators in demanding an injustice. Eventually, the majority ruled even though it was wrong.
The crowds demanded the execution of Jesus. Pilate and Herod had judged Him to be without guilt; however, the mob won the day, and He was turned over to be crucified. We would expect Jesus to be offended, embittered, and revengeful toward the people, but, His prayer for them is shocking. As He hung on the cross and looked over the crowds and His executioners, He said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” As we approach Easter Sunday, let’s remember the forgiveness for the crowds, the pardon for sins, and the spiritual freedom available to all who will call on His name.