April 2, 2021
And Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” Luke 23:34
A couple of years ago, I saw a young man wearing a t-shirt that read: Free Barabbas. My first reaction was horror; then sadness. While I was shocked by this young man’s brazen attitude, as I reflected on the meaning of Barabbas’ name, which is a conjunction of two Hebrew words: bar (son) and abba (daddy), it occurred to me that this scoundrel was set free by Christ’s substitutionary death sentence. Barabbas was shown grace, as are all “sons of Daddy”. Like Barabbas, all of us have harbored hate and rebellion in our hearts, and we all deserve the death sentence. Yet, undeservedly, all of us who know and love Jesus have been set free. Indeed, the words that Jesus spoke from the Cross apply to us: “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”
Father, we thank you for your Son who has taken on the punishment for our rebellious and hateful ways and has reconciled us to you. Thank you that we are now Daddy’s sons and daughters. Help us to follow your Son’s good example and extend forgiveness to those who persecute us. Amen.
Rev. Gordon Green, M.Div., M.A. Counseling