"forgive them father, for they know not what they do"

The words spoken by Jesus to the Father, at the time of his crucifixion.

We say that Jesus forgave the crowd because they did not know what they were doing, but HE doesn’t say HE forgives them, he asks the Father too. Why?

We say Jesus is God, so why did he ask the father to forgive the people?

Thanks. :o

Jesus is the mediator between Man and God, the Father. The entire mass is an offering of Jesus sacrifice on the cross to the Father for the forgiveness of sin and the salvation of mankind.

Here is a letter I read on this topic that might give some insight.


Here is a highlight to your direct question:

Therefore, Jesus did ask for the grace of forgiveness. His prayer was
surely heard, for at the very moment he was painfully earning the very
thing he asked for. And of course, since he knew he was/is God, he himself
granted what he himself asked.

This part of the link really spoke to me.

even though Jesus shows a heroically kind
disposition, we cannot believe that he was almost giving permission in
advance to sin by not asking for repentance as a condition of forgiveness.

So we must take refuge in some distinctions. It is one thing for Jesus, for
the Father, to be willing to forgive; it is quite another thing for the
sinner to actually take in, to receive the forgiveness. For what is
forgiveness? It is not, as Luther thought, a merely forensic or external
thing, declaring innocent or “acquitting” one who really is still totally
corrupt inside. Rather, forgiveness means the infusion of grace into the
soul, to really make it holy; forgiveness does not mean simply “acquitting”
the guilty, while leaving them totally corrupt.

That said a lot to me. I deal quite often with the once saved always saved crowd and their theology never makes sense to me. What Father says here says so much more, God will forgive us but we have to take that forgiveness into our hearts for it to take hold.

God Bless

Hope this helps.

Our Lord could speak from His human, as well as Divine natures.

The mystery of the Trinity.

Thanks. You just solved my minor problem by reminding me that Jesus is one Person with two natures.

**God bless MT,

I agree with you MT, we need to keep our forgiveness in our hearts.

Every child of God takes their forgiveness into their hearts and they keep it in their hearts.

According to RCC teaching the names of every child of God stands written in the Book of

Life and they are all predestined to heaven.

Only the names of the reprobates have been taken out from the Book of Life from all

eternity for their vehement rejection of God and His grace.

They are all end up in hell. – This is DE FIDE RCC Dogma.

When I read the following RCC teaching it was really helpful to me. Maybe help you too.

The Catholic Church affirms predestination as a *DE FIDE *Dogma (the highest level of

binding theological certainty).


THE CATHOLIC DOGMA. – The predestination of the elect

Consequently, the whole future membership of heaven, down to its minutest details, has

been IRREVOCABLY FIXED FROM ALL ETERNITY. Nor could it be otherwise. For if it

were possible that a predestined individual should after all be CAST INTO HELL or that

one not predestined should in the end REACH HEAVEN, then God would have been

MISTAKEN in his foreknowledge of future events; He would NO LONGER be omniscient.

God’s unerring foreknowledge and foreordaining is designated in the Bible by the beautiful

figure of the “Book of Life” (liber vitæ, to biblion tes zoes). This book of life is a list which

contains the names of ALL THE ELECT and admits NEITHER ADDITIONS NO ERASURES.

(2) The second quality of predestination, the DEFINITENESS of the number of the elect,

follows NATURALLY from the first. For if the eternal counsel of God regarding the

predestined is UNCHANGEABLE, then the number of the predestined must likewise be


CANCELLATIONS. Anything indefinite in the number would eo ipso imply a lack of

certitude in God’s knowledge and would DESTROY His omniscience.

End quote Emphasize added.

CCC 1994 “… It is the opinion of St. Augustine that "the justification of the wicked is a

greater work than the creation of heaven and earth," because "heaven and earth will pass

away but the salvation and justification of the elect … will not pass away. …” End quote.

God bless


One needs to consider God’s gift which is the requirement of intellective free choice.
**CCC 1730 **God created man a rational being, conferring on him the dignity of a person who can initiate and control his own actions. “God willed that man should be ‘left in the hand of his own counsel,’ so that he might of his own accord seek his Creator and freely attain his full and blessed perfection by cleaving to him.”
[INDENT]Man is rational and therefore like God; he is created with free will and is master over his acts.


Practically speaking, we need to consider that the term predestination would follow the knowledge gained by knowing the choice of an individual. It is the individual’s active choice to seek one’s Creator in order to attain the Beatific Vision which predestines the individual for heaven.

Jesus saying this has never really made sense to me…if the people had realized why Jesus was being crucified, I highly doubt any of them would change their minds, I mean, he was going thru all this FOR US, to die for ALL our sins, and plus, it was Gods plan all along, so asking forgiveness for them for essentially going along (playing their part) with Gods plan doesnt seem sinful in the least.

What would the world be like if they had realized and stopped the whole thing, and began treating Jesus like a king? He would have never been able to die for our sins and in the process throw a big wrench into Gods plan.

By the time Jesus got to the cross, it was out of the hands of the priests. They had given it over to Pilate, they did not have the authority to stop it.

He was dying for them, and so they needed forgiveness.

When I go to reconciliation, it is nice to hear Jesus say, “I absolve you of your sins” through the mouth of the priest.

From what I understand from the book of St John, Pilate didn’t want anything to do with it and let the Jews be the ones to go through with the cruxifixction.

Jesus was expressing the will of both the Father and the Son, who are one in will, for our sake

**God bless Mikekle,

It was sinful and very much sinful because God only authorized it NOT inspired it.

God bless


How so?

Before Jesus was born into this world, God already had this plan ready to go, he knew Jesus was going to be crucified, the whole point of this was for us, to die for our sins, I dont see how ‘facilitating’ this plan, would be sinful in anyway.

If they had not done this, Jesus would have never died for our sins…where would that have left the world?

I understand what Jesus was trying to say though, if the people knew who he really was, they would not be crucifying him, but its really about why he was being crucified imo.

Pilate had given it over to the Roman soldiers and they were required to obey orders. Even had they chose to stop the crucifiction, I don’t know if Jesus would have lived after they removed the nails holding him to the cross. I don’t image they would be very gentle tring to pull nails out of wood, behind flesh. My brother-in-law, nailed his foot to the floor using his nail gun and said the worst was not the nailing, but trying to pull the nail out.

**God bless Mikekle,

I understand what you are saying and the way you thinking.

The reasons they committed sin:

  1. God didn’t make them to facilitate His plan.

  2. They didn’t know that they are facilitating God’s plan.

For the above reasons, legally it was an act of terrible sin.

If God would encourage them to crucify Christ, then they wouldn’t commit sin.

The key to understand: God let them to crucify Christ, but God didn’t make them to crucify Christ.

As they unknowingly facilitated God’s plan count for nothing, because in their hearts they

didn’t facilitate God’s plan. – This is the very reason they committed sin and they responsible for it.

God bless


To your point, as Paul writes

Romans 8:29
For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the first-born among many brethren.

Romans 8:30
And those whom he predestined he also called; and those whom he called he also justified; and those whom he justified he also glorified.

Therefore, as Paul writes, God doesn’t predestine first regardless of one’s choices they will make. That would mean God predestines souls to hell regardless of their choices. That’s the heresy of double predestination that Calvin taught.

Therefore, before creation, God knows every person who will ever live, and their every choice they will make till the end of their life. Then knowing that, He predestines THAT.

Meaning He knows before the beginning of time, who is written in the book of life and who isn’t.

Just a quick comment,

They weren’t going along with God’s plan on this as if God made them do it… God doesn’t make anyone sin nor does He tempt anyone to sin. People do that on their own.

God knew from before creation, these people would freely choose do this to His Son. No surprises here, and certainly no wrench was going to be thrown.

Romans 8:29
For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the first-born among many brethren.

Romans 8:30
And those whom he predestined he also called; and those whom he called he also justified; and those whom he justified he also glorified.

The Father and the Son are not the same Person. They are distinct. When we say Jesus is God we are not saying God and Jesus are identical. It is like saying John is human. We are not saying that John’s identity is human. Human is his nature. But, John is not himself identical with humanity, since he is only one human. Likewise we are saying Jesus has a divine nature. And really it is the Trinity that is identical with God. Jesus is a part of that Trinity. But, by himself is not identical to it. So saying Jesus is God describes his nature, not his identity.

I will let Jesus answer. Think. Jesus is speaking out loud for a reason. He is not speaking privately to the Father. Otherwise he would not have spoken out loud for us to know about.

“Jesus answered, “This voice has come for your sake, not mine.” (John 12:30)

Look at the inexpressable love Jesus displays on the Cross. Not only is he expressing mercy for his persecutors while he is suffering on the Cross, he is displaying the love and mercy that is intrinsic within the Trinity itself.

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