The First Word

The Gospel according to Luke - Chapter 23, Verses 33 through 34

When they came to the place called "The Skull," they nailed Jesus to the cross there, and the two criminals, one on His right and one on His left.

Jesus said, "Forgive them, Father! They do not know what they are doing."


"Forgive them, Father! They do not know what they are doing."

Oh, Lord Jesus, please tell me: what do You mean by "they?" When You say "they," do "they" include me?

Because of Your compassion for mankind, You choose to carry out our Heavenly Father's Divine Plan – dying on the cross to save me and carrying the burden of every person born in this world.

My sins are the very thorns that wound and are buried on Your head. My disobedience and stubbornness are the nails now piercing Your hands and feet, as well as the very hammer that just drove them into Your flesh.

My sins are so many that they reach up to the Heavens and down into Hell.

In spite of all my inequities, here You are - praying to our Heavenly Father to forgive me for all my sins. I cannot bear to look at You on the cross, as You continue to pray to our Heavenly Father.

My soul forces my eyes to see You and Your suffering. As Your arms are extended from end to end, You blanket me with Your compassion and grace.

I do not understand. Why do You choose to die to save my poor, wretched soul?

Oh, my Lord, what have I done to You? What have I done to myself? What have I done to thank You and our Heavenly Father for the many blessings You have given me?

Can a child such as I – in all my wrongdoings and flaws – be granted forgiveness?

Author's Notes

This chapter hits home with me, and I think with everyone - ranging from death-row inmates who have done the most unthinkable, all the way to anyone who could never find the heart to forgive themselves for something that they have repented for so long.

Why do you think that the old saying, "You are your own worst critic" rings so true? It is human nature to be hypercritical of others, and most especially to oneself.

This chapter is dedicated to those who have been seeking God's forgiveness and healing. May you realize that God's grace has saved you long ago, and may you find peace of mind and heart.