Text: "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do."
The Holy, and Harmless Son of God had been arrested in the Garden
of Gethsemane, a private garden of which Jesus had the use. The Son
of Perdition, Judas by name, had kissed the Blessed Redeemer’s face
as if he was a loyal and obedient disciple of the Master.
In order that all things might be fulfilled of which the prophets
spoke, this Lamb, in whom there was no deceit to be found, was
crassly interrogated, and only after hiring ruthless men to lie
could any charge be brought against Him.
He was summarily scourged. Most people never survived the torture
with which the Romans had perfected. Then they led Him out to
They lay our Blessed Lord upon the harsh wooden cross and nailed
Him there. Then raising the structure they edged it to hole in the
ground made to support the cross made heavy by the weight of a man’s
As it fell to its resting-place, bones were jarred from their
sockets. In this agonizing condition the Lord Who had command of the
armies of Heaven prayed, "Father, forgive them; for they know not
what they do."
"All ye that pass by, to Jesus draw nigh;
To you is it nothing that Jesus should die?
Your Ransom and Peace, your Surety He is
Come see if there ever was sorrow like His!
"He dies to atone for sins not His own;
Your debt He hath paid, and your work He hath done."
Mr. Kelly wrote --
"Stricken, smitten and afflicted
See Him dying on the tree.
‘Tis the Christ by man rejected!
Yes, my soul, ‘tis He! ‘Tis He!
‘Tis the Long-expected Prophet,
David’s Son, yet David’s Lord;
Proofs I see sufficient of it
‘Tis a true and faithful Word.
"Tell me, ye who hear Him groaning
Was there ever grief like His?
Friends, through fear, His cause disowning
Foes insulting His distress.
Many hands were raised to wound Him,
None would interpose to save,
But the awful stroke that found Him,
Was the stroke that Justice gave.
"Ye who think of sin but lightly,
Nor suppose the evil great,
Here may view its nature rightly
Here its guilt may estimate
Mark the sacrifice appointed!
See who bears the awful load!
‘Tis the Word, the Lord’s anointed
Son of Man, and Son of God.
THE FORGIVENESS OF GOD
When God forgives, He lifts our guilt from us and takes it away.
(Job 7:21) He covers our sins in a similar fashion as sheet is drawn
over the body of the dead. (Psalm 85:2) He reckons our sins as dead
and He will not resurrect them again -- ever, even in the Day of
The Greek word translated "to forgive" is the same word
translated "to divorce" because when God forgives, He separates from
us our sins and our guilt.
When God forgives, He blots out our sin in a similar fashion as
our creditor’s books are crossed or blotted when payment is made.
When God forgives, He casts our sins out of His sight. They will
be remembered and held against us again no more forever. Our sins
are cancelled. (Hebrews 8:12)
God’s forgiveness is free! In the Lord Jesus we have
"redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins according to
the riches of His grace." (Ephesians 1:7) God, Whose attributes,
like His nature is infinite, grants forgiveness according to His
matchless and infinite grace. While His forgiveness is free, we must
nevertheless repent of our sins.
"Repentance is to leave
The sins we loved before,
And show that we in earnest grieve,
By doing so no more."
God is able to forgive great sins and great sinners. Paul
blasphemed and persecuted the Household of Faith, yet he was
forgiven. Zaccheus as a tax collector was rich with unjust gain, but
when he repented of his sins, he was forgiven. Mary Magdalene was a
prostitute, yet she found forgiveness. And God can forgive you.
"Did Christ o’er sinners weep
And shall our cheeks be dry?
Let floods of penitential grief
Burst forth from every eye.
"The Son of God in tears
The wondering angels see,
Be thou astonished, o my soul,
He shed those tears for thee!
Dear people, precious in the sight of God, have you been
forgiven? Has God in His mercy forgiven you? There is a way to know
--can you forgive others? Jesus died on the cross not only to
restore us to the Father, but also to restore us to each other.
THE FORGIVENESS OF EACH OTHER
If we are loath to forgive others, God will shut His ears when we
pray to he forgiven. Jesus taught His disciples to pray, "Forgive us
our debts AS we forgive our debtors." (Matthew 6:12) All who pray
thus ask the Lord of Heaven to forgive them in the same manner and
to the same degree they forgive others.
Our problem is we want God to treat us better than we are willing
to treat one another. If we do not want God to treat us the way we
deserve, we should not treat others the way we think they deserve.
Can you forgive others? We forgive another only when we no longer
want to get even. Therefore, there is no forgiveness in our heart so
long as we remember wrongs. When God forgives, He forgets; so do all
who forgive. Yet the Church is filled with people who will not speak
to one another? Is it a good thing to remember wrongs? What if God
were to treat us the way we treat others? What if He were as
stubborn and hard-hearted as we are?
We have forgiven only when we are willing to restore a person to
our heart when they repent and ask our forgiveness. So long as we
bear ill will, and rejoice when trouble comes their way, we have not
"Help me to feel another’s woes,
To hide the fault I see,
That mercy I to others show,
That mercy show to me!
We should forgive as Christ has forgiven us. We should forgive in
the same manner and in the same degree that we expect to be
forgiven. Without forgiveness, there is no forgiveness.
Since the Lord Jesus Christ was crucified for sin, it is evident
that all who continue to lie, to steal, to commit adultery, etc.
know nothing of Christ or of the reason for His crucifixion.
Reader, you must get a divorce from your sins --
"For God must visit sin
With His displeasure sore,
Since He is holy, just and true
And righteous evermore."
"Go to dark Gethsemane
Ye who feel the Tempter’s power.
Your Redeemer’s conflict see;
Watch with Him one bitter hour.
Turn not from His griefs away;
Learn of Jesus Christ to pray.
"Follow to the Judgment Hall;
View the Lord of Life arraigned.
Oh, the wormwood and the gall!
Oh, the pangs His soul sustained!
Shun not suffering, shame or loss,
Learn of Him to bear the cross.
"Calvary’s mournful mountain climb,
There adoring at His feet.
Mark that miracle of Time,
God’s own Sacrifice complete.
’It is finished’ hear the cry,
Learn of Jesus Christ to die!
10, 1806 --Washington, D.C. --President Thomas Jefferson signs an
act of Congress declaring "It is earnestly recommended to all
officers and soldiers diligently to attend Divine services; and all
officers who shall behave indecently or irreverently at any place of
Divine worship, shall, if commissioned officers, be brought before a
general court martial, there to be publicly and severely reprimanded
by the President."
12, 1808 --Washington, D.C. --President Thomas Jefferson signs
into law an act providing for the appointment of a chaplain to each
brigade of the army.
30, 1816 --Washington, D.C. --President James Madison signs an
act providing chaplains in the two houses of Congress.
Help! We are still in arrears $2100. The Angelus
will be mailed if we do not buy groceries. If everyone
who receives this issue would willingly send $1, we could
allay our need. (I John 3:17,18)
TO DESTROY A NATION
If I were interested in destroying a nation, I would first gain
control of the food industry. In this way, I would have it in my
power to cause starvation on a large scale. To do this I would
experiment with plants, animals and fish to develop hybrids that are
unable to reproduce.
Second, I would encourage utter abandonment to the development of
technology that is absolutely worthless when once the "plug" is
pulled on the power source.
Third, I would breakdown the virtue of its families by destroying
the moral barriers that protect prudence and purity, so that its
citizens would be left without the moral backbone God gives only to
Fourth, I would disarm the people by making it unlawful to bear
arms for their personal protection.
WHOLESOME COUNSEL FOR ALL CONTEMPLATING
Healing Balm for the Troubled Homes--
"The Marriage Ring"
By John Angell James
LAMM, MEET MAGGIE SANGER
Washington --Addressing our senior citizens about their
terminally ill, Gov. Richard Lamm of Colorado offered this
compassionate counsel: "You have a duty to die and get out
of the way. Let the other society, our kids, build a better
Concerned about the rising cost of life-support—the after all,
could revitalize Smoke-stack America—the hailed the elderly who did
not impede their own passing as "leaves falling off a tree and
forming humus for other plants to grow up."
While the quote is accurate, the governor insisted to this
writer, the inferences drawn are not. He is not arguing for putting
the elderly asleep, like aged and sickly house pets; he is arguing
against extraordinary and expensive means--"heroic measures" in
Christian ethics--to keep alive elderly and dying patients.
What the governor said, however, is cut from the same ethical
bolt of cloth as other statements. Elected on a strong pro-abortion
stance, the governor has said of retarded children: "We must ask
ourselves--in a world of limited resources—does it make sense to
spend $10,000 ‘educating’ a child to roll over." "Population is the
ultimate environmental issue," declares this self-professed
environmentalist. Immigration "is making us poorer, not richer. It
is dividing our wealth and resources."
The governor promises future abrasions: "We’re going to have to
make some terribly hard decisions. We’re going to have to insult
some people, and we’re going to have to risk some political
Despite the provocative verbiage, Gov. Lamm had best be listened
to; unfortunately, he may be a man ahead of his time. If you accept
the premises under which he is operating—knowingly or not--the
conclusions are logical and consistent.
Clearly, Dick Lamm’s is a "Quality-of-Life" ethic, challenging
the old "Sanctity-Of-Life" ethic. Where the latter holds all human
life sacred, a gift from God, to be terminated at the hour of His
choosing, not of our convenience, the former holds that all life is
not created equal, but that some lives are more equal than others.
Once you eliminate Providence from the picture, Dick starts to
make sense. If, for example, Darwin was right, we are all descended
or ascended from apes and man is but a higher animal, why not treat
him with the "humaneness" with which we treat animals? Hunters, for
example, are rightly praised for spending a day running down some
wounded beast, to "put it out of its misery." The Humane Society, of
which almost all approve, rightly, puts to sleep old, suffering and
Clearly, Lamm’s ethic is gaining currency. Abortion—the right of
the woman to subordinate the life of her unborn child to her own
convenience, is now a constitutional right. Elizabeth Bouvia’s
demand that the state assist her suicide, is supported by the ACLU.
Suicides are no longer denied "hallowed ground" for their remains.
But if Dick Lamm’s is a voice of the future, it is redolent of
voices from the past. And, if the governor wishes to sit where his
logic leads, let me commend Elasah Drogin’s "Margaret Sanger: The
Father of Modern Society," published in 1979 by CUL Publications.
Ms. Sanger was likewise alarmed by immigration. Then, it was not
Mexican "illegals," but what she termed "Slavs, Latins and Hebrews."
She, too, believed in abortion, and in "The Pivot of Civilization"
deplored do-gooder efforts that led to continued propagation of
Philanthropists, who give free maternity care, she wrote,
"encourage the healthier and more normal sections of the world to
shoulder the burden of unthinking and indiscriminate fecundity of
others; which brings with it, as I think the reader must agree, a
dead weight of human waste. Instead of decreasing and aiming to
eliminate the stocks that are most detrimental to the future of the
race and the world, it tends to render them to a menacing degree
To rid us of that "dead weight of human waste," to create what
she lovingly termed "a race of human thoroughbreds," Sanger had her
own little final solution to the Negro question. As she wrote to a
collaborator in 1939--when some Germans were giving eugenics a bad
name--the idea to "hire three or four colored ministers, preferably
with social service backgrounds, and with engaging personalities."
They would travel through the South and propagandize for birth
control. "The most successful educational approach, to the Negro is
through a religious appeal. We do not want word to go out that we
want to exterminate the Negro population, and the minister is the
man who can straighten out that idea if it ever occurs to any of
their more rebellious members."
Isn’t it marvelous that Maggie Sanger’s love child, Planned
Parenthood--created to enshrine her memory and advance the above
ideas--has been given over to the custody of a nice, black lady from
New York? --Pat Buchanan
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