Proclaim. Mobilize. Equip.
Call 866-865-6253

The Lightning Rod

May 8, 2019

“Father, forgive them…” Luke 23:34 (NIV)

How is it possible for God to forgive the worst sins, and for him to embrace the worst sinners? That question takes us to the heart of this amazing prayer…

Man’s sin reached its full horror and its most awful expression on the cross as we crucified God’s Son. If there was ever a moment in human history when God’s judgment had to fall, this was it. But at the same moment, Jesus cried out, “Father, forgive them.” Christ was isolating himself under the judgment of God.

Jesus knew judgment would come, so he cried out to the Father, “Don’t let it fall on them, let it fall on me, and me alone. Let me be the lightning rod for your judgment. Allow me to be the sacrifice that’s consumed, but don’t let your judgment fall on them.”

This is the heart of the gospel. Jesus stands under the judgment of God for sins that have been committed against him. Christ asks the Father to divert the punishment away from his enemies, and he absorbs it in himself. That is how forgiveness is released.

When Jesus said, “Father, forgive them,” the word “them” is large enough for you to crawl inside. This prayer, and the sacrifice that provides the answer to it, is sufficient for every person who will come to him. His prayer covered the sins of those who nailed him to the cross, and it can cover every sin you have committed.

Do you believe that Jesus’ words “Father, forgive them” are big enough for you and your sins? Why or why not?

The Author
Colin Smith

Colin Smith is the Senior Pastor of The Orchard Evangelical Free Church in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. He has authored a number of books, including Heaven, How I Got Here and Heaven, So Near - So Far. Colin is the President and Teacher for Unlocking the Bible. Follow him on Twitter.

Explore this topic further

God Always Works through His Son

“All things have been committed to me by my Father.” Matthew 11:27 (NIV) It is a fundamental rule of leadership that if you give someone a job, you don’t do it yourself. You may work with that person, but if you have delegated a task to someone, you will not...

Read Post
For your gift of any amount

A Good Old Age

Loving and Following the Lord Jesus in Later Years

Get Unlocking the Bible's Weekly Email

"This Week at Unlocking the Bible" features new articles, radio programs, devotionals, and ministry updates

We will never sell or misuse your information.

Share Your Story and Prayer Requests

If you have a testimony or story you would like to share or if you have a prayer request, please use the form below. If you would like someone from our staff to call you, please include your phone number.

We will never sell or misuse your information.

Learn more about resources
to help you face the current crisis and begin living courageously.

Get Unlocking the Bible’s Weekly Email

“This Week at Unlocking the Bible” features new articles, radio programs, devotionals, and ministry updates

We will never sell or misuse your information.