When Jesus Christ said
Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do. (Luke 23:34)
who was He talking about? He was looking at the men who had nailed His hands to the cross. He was looking at the man who would spear His side. He was looking at the men who had jeered, spat, laughed, placed a crown of thorns on His head, mocked Him.
And He said “Father forgive them”. And Jesus Christ is the exact likeness of our Father God. Just imagine that. When Jesus Christ took the sins of the whole world (1 John 2:2) the payment was made in full. Our Father could forgive all of us. Even you and I, because it is our sin which was placed on Jesus Christ and for which He died.
Look at how Isaiah describes it
For he was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgression of my people he was stricken. – Isaiah 53:8
And then look at how God describes Isaiah’s people’s transgressions…
4Ah, sinful nation, a people loaded with iniquity, offspring of evildoers, sons who deal corruptly! They have forsaken the Lord, they have despised and shown contempt and provoked the Holy One of Israel to anger, they have become utterly estranged (alienated). – Is 1:4
THAT my friends is the kind of person that Jesus Christ died for. Not just for believers, but for those who are “utterly estranged and alienated” from God.
It was God [personally present] in Christ,
reconciling and restoring the world to favor with Himself,
not counting up and holding against [men] their trespasses [but cancelling them],
and committing to us the message of reconciliation (of the restoration to favor). – 2 Cor 5:19
Hallelujah. What a God! What a Saviour! A free gift… one that makes me shudder and speak softly as I pray it out loud over this world. An undeserved favor and reconciliation which we do not deserve.