“Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.” – Luke 23:34
Whom did Jesus Christ forgive from the cross: the Roman soldiers or the crowd? Whomever his audience, instead of avenging himself Jesus left justice in his Father’s hands, to show mercy or judgment as he wills (Romans 9:15-18, 12:19). He knew that vengeance belonged to the Father alone (12:19). Seven weeks later, on the Day of Pentecost, three thousand people were saved (Acts 2:1, 41). Would this have happened if Jesus hadn’t said “forgive them”? I wonder.
“Lord, do not charge them with this sin.” – Acts 7:60
Stephen refused to avenge himself as he was dying at the hands of religious leaders. Stephen left justice in the Father’s hands instead. Saul, a Pharisee, stood by “consenting to his death” (Acts 7:58, 8:1, 22:20). Would God have saved this man and transformed him into the…