Scriptures: Luke 23:34, 23:46, 17:3, Romans 3:26, Isaiah 53:12, Matthew 5:44, Ephesians 4:32, 1 Peter 2:23, 1 Corinthians 2:8
There is likely nothing more revealing of the heart of a person than what he is saying as he knows he’s going to die. When we look to Christ on the cross, the statements of our Lord, if understood properly, can become anchors of hope that can secure the ship of life in the stormy seas of sin, sorrow, and death. Each phrase that Jesus utters on the cross answers a question, meets a need, or solves a problem. His first statement, "Father, forgive them", answers the question, "How can sinful man have a relationship with God?" In this message, Dr. Merritt extracts powerful truths for life from Jesus' powerful request of God in His dying moments.
"Forgiveness is the first step God must take toward you before you can take your first step toward God. The word forgive literally means 'to send away.' It was a word that was used to cancel a debt that could not be paid. If you’ve ever had to forgive a debt, you know that when you forgive a debt you really pay the debt yourself. When Jesus died on the cross he paid our sin-debt for 'the wages of sin is death.' I owed a debt I could not pay; He paid a debt He did not owe. Because my sin-debt has been paid, I can receive God’s forgiveness free of charge. However, let me add that forgiveness is free, but it is not cheap." --Dr. Merritt
Keywords: crucifixion, Calvary, forgiveness, salvation, God, Christ, died, death, cross, court, judge, words, request, sympathy, Henry David Thoreau, sinners, divine, prophecy, Max Baer, Karl Marx, P.T. Barnum, Douglas Fairbanks, Franklin D. Roosevelt, George Washington, John F. Kennedy, William Palmer, Joe Reynolds
Pastors Edge provides Bible preachers and teachers with ready-to-use resources and materials based on the preaching of Dr. James Merritt, Senior Pastor at Cross Pointe Church in Duluth, GA and host of the international broadcast ministry Touching Lives.