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February 26, 2021 2:00 am
Jesus loved even the worst murderers of all time: those who killed Him. In the message "Jesus Loves Murderers," Skip examines the mercy of Jesus as well as what motivated Him to demonstrate that mercy.
This teaching is from the series Jesus Loves People .Links:
This week's DevoMail: https://connnectwithskip.com/devomail
Whenever we have a atrocity of crime, you know, we usually don't get past the shock of a cantilever so horrible and the reason I say that's a bit odd is because this is how it sounds when I put it this way. I can't believe that unbelievers are actually acting like unbelievers. Wonder of wonders, is being moved by what we hear or read or see on a news clip to pray for the transgressors. Jesus continually showed his mercy to people. Those who murdered today on connect with Skip Heitzig Skip shares with divine purpose behind the cross before we begin want to let you know about a resource that gives you practical insight on how to love others like Jesus, the Bible makes it clear that Jesus loves the devout and the doubters priests and prostitutes. The disease and the depressed Jesus just loves people all people, no matter what their past or their present. Sadly, sometimes it's the people who need love the most. Feel the most rejected even by the church that Jesus loves all people, shouldn't we we want to help you grasp God's relentless love for people by sending you the complete booklet. Jesus loves people collection my Skip I think these booklets look to Scripture to demonstrate Jesus's love for people from every walk of life. Yet all four Jesus loves people titles including Jesus loves the broken and Jesus loves addicts when you give a gift of $25 or more today to help expand this Bible teaching outreach to give call 892 to 1888, or get online securely connectwithskip.com/offer chapter 23 Skip I suggested to today's message. Even with the most vile act of disaffection… Maximum amount of good out of it was always in the plan and purview of God the father to see this happen.
That's what it means.
John 316 for God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son and the prophet Jeremiah skews me. Isaiah predicted something when I first read it when I was a new Christian it's it just I was stunned by Isaiah 53 said for it pleased the Lord to bruise him he it says in Isaiah 53. He has put him to grief. I was shocked by that pleased the Lord to bruise his son. He has put in the grave. Why the very next phrase answers the question to make his soul an offering for sin. That's why that's God's redemptive purpose in this horrible thing that is going on so we are told in verse 33 when they came to the place called. Please notice the word Calvary. It's not cavalry. You know I make an issue out of this is you don't know how many times over the years, people upset only here at cavalry Chapel. I don't know were not a regiment on horseback with swords.
That's a cavalry work, Calvary completely different.
Calvary comes from the Latin cow very the Greek's cranium. The Hebrew is Golgotha means the same thing a skull that indicates the shape of the place where the execution took place.
That's the murder of Jesus at Calvary.
The place of the scroll. Next please notice in verse 34 the mercy of Jesus. Then Jesus said, father forgive them. Jesus was on the cross for six hours from nine in the morning to three in the afternoon during that six hours he made seven short statements recorded in the Scripture recalling the seven words seven last sayings of Jesus on the cross a person's last words are always significant, but these are most significant is Warren Worsley said they are Windows that enable us to see into the very heart of God. The seven statements on the cross. I like to think of it this way. While Jesus was doing the greatest work on earth he was uttering the greatest words on earth in the first tape and his father forgive them the shocking statement it's not what we would expect it's an unusual request for the victim of murder to say father forgive them in a week.
We talk about Jesus loves people and it's one thing to say. Jesus loves murderers, it's another thing to be the person being murdered and say God loves people. God loves murderers father forgive them, forgive them, this crowd this world that pushed him away from birth that could offer no room in the end, when he was about to be born. One of whose leaders tried to murder him when he was a baby in Bethlehem. This crowd whose leaders plotted this murder, who brought forth false charges and false witnesses to get him up on that cross who shouted vociferously crucify him, crucify father forgive them. What is a natural human reaction. If you are being attacked, not father forgive them. Limit. Let me bring it down to a level we can all understand some of you have never been attacked.
Let's say you're driving down the road you're just driving and some would even give a term to that person. Some person holes in front of you and cut you off is your first reaction. Father forgive them. I my first reaction. I pray for them, but it's a very different prayer the other day I prayed a prayer when I was being cut off by not one but two trucks going at least three times the speed limit. I said father please. May there be a police officer somewhere close by to give these numbskulls tickets something like that. Father judge them and made out for flat tires all that be great, and the spare that even better father forgive them, we would expect effect. Maybe we would expect Jesus, a father judge them for this act, we would understand that, or even if you were to turn to the crowd and say something like three days just three days. I'm coming back and I'm coming for you, but he said father forgive them, you know, it's even more amazing in the Greek language it's in a continual tense. He was continually saying could be translated father forgive know that means that means I was is undergirding prayer not once, but during the whole event. So I imagine when they brought Jesus and stripped him of Golgotha. Father forgive them when it pleased him down and they stretched out his hands and put spikes in his hands, father, forgive them when they raised up the cross, father forgive them and as the day wore on. Father forgive them father forgive them father forgive them. That's is that's his statement. I read them a story this week. I'd read it before but it just so amazing. I revisited it this week. In 1993 murder was committed by a 16-year-old boy. I think he was 16 at the time his name was O'Shea, Israel is in prison, he murdered a 20-year-old boy. The mother of the boy that was murdered.
Her name is Mary Johnson. Let me rephrase this wasn't the son of that mother was the only son, the only son of this mother was murdered. The mother tried to get to the prison and visit the murder of her son.
She was denied access by the prisoner himself. Finally, after a period of time after incessant asking. She was allowed entrance to the prison to have a visit that is what she said she goes as a Christian she said as a Christian I knew I had to forgive him, but I just needed to find out why he killed my son. So she went to the prison. She visited with them and after the visit was over something came over so she was so emotionally distraught.
She just broke. She had an emotional breakdown and she started collapsing to the ground, the prisoner, the murder of this woman, son looked at her and he said the only thing I could think of. In my mind as well. But I do right now if this were my mother said I would hold her up so he grabbed her and picked her up and held her truck and embraced her. She was so distraught, embraced her and she hugged him back and just stayed in that position locked in an embrace her up for a moment and she had this thought she goes. I just hugged the murderer of my only son. She said as I left that day. All of the pain and bitterness and anger and animosity melted away. I want you to think of this saying on the cross, father forgive them like that woman's hog of the one who took her only son is Jesus saying they're about to take your only son, father, forgive, please notice this is a prayer. This is a statement not directed to the crowd not directed to another criminal on the cross he will speak to one of the fees will get to that next time he will speak to his own mother in the course of the crucifixion, but the very first words out of his mouth. Prayer directed to the father. Do you think that's a good idea for us whenever we suffer. You think this might be a great role model for us, that instinctively right out of the chute. Our first movement would be heavenward.
I like to think of it this way that Jesus stays connected to heaven while he suffers anguish on earth.
I think it's a good model. I'm gonna stay connected to the father and he prays father forgive what is a prayer first of all he's fulfilling Scripture right. You remember Isaiah 53 right where it says he bore the sins of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.
That's what the Scripture said he would do. He's doing with the Scripture predicted his fulfilling prophecy. He made intercession for the transgressors. Why on earth would you make intercession for transgressors, easy answer is transgressors. Sinners need intercession prayer they needed murderers need prayer criminals need prayer, so he made intercession for the transgressors. It's a bit amazing to me really how we as believers as Christians, we tend to have this reaction to what the world does. Whenever we hear of a atrocity of crime in a week.
We usually don't get past the shock.
I can't believe that all that so horrible and the reason I say that's a bit odd is because, listen to how it sounds when I put it this way. I can't believe that unbelievers are actually acting like unbelievers. Wonder of wonders. Instead of being moved by what we hear or read or see on a news clip to pray for the transgressors to pray for them to enter into that situation by bringing it before the throne of God and interceding Jesus did.
He was fulfilling the text of Scripture. Second reason he did.
It is because, well, that's just Jesus that's consistent with his nature. Jesus prays father forgive them because we Jesus always did what it was, a man let down the roof who was a paralytic. The first thing he said his major sins are forgiven, be of good cheer or the woman who barges into Simon the Pharisee's house and cries all over his feet as we saw last week woman your sins are forgiven for Jesus to say from the cross, father forgive them, well that's consistent with our Jesus is always doing that is always reaching out is always offering forgiveness. And there's 1/3 reason why pray this because it's what you need the most is the greatest need of humanity to be forgiven.
I watched thousands of thousands of people marched forward to the years in altar calls. I see it in their eyes see it in their tears what they want more than anything else is to be forgiven. I remember this is a little boy when I fended my father one time I fended it many times, but on this one particular occasion, I knew that I fended at my knew that I had broken his heart and I so wanted to hear from him. I forgive you. I didn't hear for a while because he was so deeply offended mankind's greatest need is God's greatest accomplishment, forgiveness, may I suggest that you put your name in the verse father, forgive, Skip father, forgive Michelle or Gail or Pete or George or whatever returning personalized. This is Jesus loving murderers. This is Jesus wanting sin to be forgiven. So we see in the murder of Jesus the mercy of Jesus. Please consider the last phrase of what he says in verse 34. The motive of Jesus.
Father forgive them for they do not know what they do. We have just come across one of the most misunderstood phrases in all of the Bible we tell you what it does not mean we Jesus is better know what they're doing. He is not suggesting that they were unaware that they were sinning all they knew what they were doing. Although they knew that this was wrong. They knew that this was evil.
They knew because they had brought in a false witnesses it says with false accusations against Jesus and we know to be true because pilot who interrogated this criminal came out and said I find no fault in him at all and all they could respond is two words, crucify him, crucify him who's at work about justice would occur by doing right. We just want him dead. They knew it was wrong so he is not suggesting they were unaware by the way, even if they were ignorant of what they were doing.
That's no excuse. Is it is ignorance mean innocence, while if you're struggling that you may want to try going 65 miles an hour in the 35 mile an hour zone until you see a nice Lee appointed black and white car follow you and stop you and walk over the sound like you know that you're going sir know you and 65 it's a 35 mile an hour zone. Imagine this. I didn't know you think the officer will neatly fold up his little ticket book and walk going to okay then you're innocent because of your ignorance. Ignorance equals innocence.you know what he'll say like the ticket now say now you know when you pay the fine. Then you'll know you're still guilty so were still out for the question, what does this phrase mean father forgive them for they do not know what they're doing well.
It means two things at least means number one for the Romans. The Roman soldiers actually performing this deed they didn't know the identity of this criminal. This was their job. They crucify thousands of men like him they didn't know who this was. They didn't have the fixed identity of this man in their in their minds and that they did know.
In fact, only one of the soldiers after the fact and only after the fact. After his death. After three hours of darkness after the earthquake. After the veil of the temple is ripped.
Only then does one of them discover who this essence is truly this was the son of God, but it means the second thing for the rest of the crowd.
They didn't know the enormity of their crime. They knew the reality of it they knew it was wrong. They knew it was real, but they did know how big this crime was they did know the full horror of what they were doing first Corinthians chapter 2 verse eight.
Had they known they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. You know I found that people who reject Christ by large don't know how enormous an offense that is they don't know there's a lot of different belief systems, believe in Jesus so live. They do not understand the and enormity of what that is and how judgment will fall how they will be alienated from God forever and ever and and and actually I might be even addressing somebody that your exit strategy do not plead ignorance that your strategy if your strategy is who you know I like to call myself a freethinker. In fact, I like the term, not a fit. I'm an agnostic.
I just don't know which usually means not always, but often means I don't know and I don't really care to find out. So I was going to sort of bump through life not knowing and if there is a God.
And if I ever stand to form a judgment. I'm just gonna plead ignorance, say well I just didn't know well the bad news is now you know you know too much just from this message alone, you know too much and you are held accountable. Don't fret over all those people who've never heard about Jesus is usually a way on the jungles and never heard you have heard this worry about that, as Peter will say to the people of Jerusalem. Truly, these times of ignorance God is overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent so was Jesus prayer answered. Father forgive them. I was wasn't many ways many times over the first answer to the prayer comes when he says to the criminal at his side. Today will be with me in paradise.
Something happens in the transaction with this criminal look at that next time.
The second answer the prayers with that Roman centurion and the Bible says this glorifying God. It says glorifying God. He said truly this man was a righteous man. Truly he was the son of God. There was a conversion I believe of that soldier to who this criminal son of God. The third answer came at Pentecost 3000 people come to Christ and thousands upon thousands more just in the city of Jerusalem will believe in this Jesus in weeks to follow some of the very people at the foot of the cross. In this scene who are cheering and mocking and not believing will understand the identity of this person and the enormity of this crime and they will come in repentance. In fact, we know that many priests were around the cross at the time. Acts chapter 6 is a great many of the priests were obedient to the faith to key phrase they were obedient.
See this prayer father forgive them for they don't know what they're doing. This is in some promise of instantaneous and automatic forgiveness. It anticipates that there will be in that crowd, and in days to come. People who will understand the identity of that person and the enormity of this crime and will and realizing that turn from their sin and turn to him in order to be forgiven like Christopher Prichard like O'Shea, Israel like David Berkowitz, all who have discovered personally. Jesus loves murderers. And speaking of murders we have to assume our own guilt for the cross, our sin put him there. He died for us in our place. So maybe his prayer will be answered by a few of those in this group turning their lives to Jesus and personally discovering Jesus loves murderers like us that maps of Skip hi six message from his series, Jesus loves people who Skip to share how you can keep this broadcast going strong, connecting more people like you to the good news of Jesus because of our sin nature. We stand guilty before God. But because of Jesus and his sacrifice on the cross.
We have been forgiven and can stand before the Lord redeemed Christ has given us eternal salvation. And that's amazing news is the kind of news we want to share around the world to your support today you can help take God's truth to so many other people while keeping these teachings that you love coming to you here so you can give a gift right now and share the gospel of Jesus Christ. Give us a call at 800-922-1888 to give a gift today 809 two 218 or visit connectwithskip.com/donate. That's connectwithskip.com/don't your generosity will keep his biblical encouragement coming your way and help change lives now before we go to juvenile that you can watch gift messages from the comfort of your home device, or Apple TV.
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