Miracle Man

Forgive | Devotion #4: Miracle Man
Gareth Volz | Senior 55+ Director

“And Jesus said, ‘Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.’” Luke 23:34

For the longest time, this was the hardest statement for me to understand of the seven statements Jesus made on the cross. My first impression was that Jesus was saying “Father forgive them for killing me.” And while I believe that is true, I believe it was so much more than that. As Jesus unjustly suffered hanging on that cross on Mount Calvary between two criminals who deserved this death sentence, I believe He was looking at a crowd of people who lacked an understanding of the God they claimed to love and serve.

As He looked over the crowd, I am sure He reflected back to the previous week when He entered Jerusalem with His disciples, and the crowd welcomed Him by shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest” (Matthew 21:9). Matthew 21:10-11 adds, “The whole city was stirred up, saying, ‘Who is this?’ And the crowds said, ‘This is the prophet Jesus, from Nazareth of Galilee.’”

How had they missed it? They had seen or heard that He had:

• Turned water to wine at the wedding in Cana (John 2:1-11)
• Healed an official’s son in Galilee (John 4:43-54)
• Driven out an evil spirit from a man in Capernaum (Luke 4:31-36)
 Healed Peter’s mother-in-law who had been sick with a fever (Luke 4:38-39)
• Healed many sick and oppressed one evening (Luke 4:40-41)
• Given His disciples a miraculous catch of fish one morning after a fruitless night of fishing on Lake Gennesaret (Luke 5:1-11)
• Cleansed a man from leprosy (Luke 5:12-14)
• Healed a centurion’s paralyzed servant in Capernaum (Luke 7:1-10)
• Healed a paralytic who had been let down from the roof by friends at the house where He was (Matthew 9:1-8)
• Healed a man’s withered hand on the Sabbath (Mark 3:1-6)
• Raised a widow’s son from the dead in Nain (Luke 7:11-17)
• Calmed the storm on the sea (Luke 8:22-25)
• Cast out demons into a herd of pigs (Luke 8:26-39)
• Healed a woman in a crowd who had an issue of blood (Luke 8:42-48)
• Raised Jairus’ daughter back to life (Matthew 9:18, 23-26)
• Given sight to two blind men (Matthew 9:27-31)
• Healed a man who was unable to speak (Matthew 9:32-34)
• Healed an invalid at Bethesda (John 5:1-15)
• Fed 5,000 men plus women and children with just five loaves of bread and  two fish (John 6:1-15)
• Walked on water (Matthew 14:22-33)
• Healed many sick as they touched His garment at Gennesaret (Mark 6:53-56)
• Healed a gentile woman’s demon-possessed daughter (Mark 7:24-30)
• Healed a deaf and dumb man (Mark 7:31-37)
• Fed 4,000 men plus women and children (Mark 8:1-13)
• Healed a blind man at Bethsaida (Mark 8:22-26)
• Given sight to a man born blind by putting mud on his eyes (John 9:1-12)
• Withdrawn the temple tax from a fish’s mouth (Matthew 17:24-27)
• Healed a blind, mute demonic man (Matthew 12:22-23)
• Healed a woman who had been crippled for 18 years (Luke 13:10-17)
• Healed a man with dropsy (Luke 14:1-6)
• Cleansed ten lepers on His way to Jerusalem (Luke 17:11-19)
• Raised Lazarus from the dead in Bethany (John 11:1-45)
• Restored sight to Bartimaeus in Jericho (Luke 18:35-43)
• Withered a fig tree on the road from Bethany (Mark 11:12-14)
• Healed a servant’s ear while He was being arrested (Luke 22:50-51)
• Gave a second miraculous catch of fish on the Sea of Tiberias (John 21:4-11)  

Jesus could only have done all these miracles if He was Who He claimed to be – the promised Messiah – the Son of God. Yet they had missed it. They were rejecting Him, and He was their only way to God. I believe that He was telling His Father, “I forgive their sins by my death on this Cross.” 

His death not only paid for their sins, but for your sins and my sins. Have you asked Jesus to forgive your sins and accept Him as your Savior? Rejecting Jesus means eternal separation from God. Do not wait!

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