Luke 23:32 There were also two others, criminals, led with Him to be put to death.
23:33 And when they had come to the place called Calvary, there they crucified Him, and the criminals, one on the right hand and the other on the left.
23:34 Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.” And they divided His garments and cast lots.
Jesus, nailed to the cross by Roman soldiers, cried out “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.”
There are few Christians who have not heard these words from the lips of our Savior Christ Jesus …But the question begs to be answered …who are the ‘them’ whom Jesus is asking The Father to forgive? Most Christians have never questioned who specifically Jesus is asking His Father to forgive.
Is it the Pharisees?…Is it the Scribes?…Is it the Sadducees?…Is it the Jewish crowd who cried “Crucify Him” …Is it Caiaphas? …Is it Pontius Pilate?… No it appears that it is none of these people.
If we exercise sound Hermeneutics, we have to come to one conclusion only; it has to be the Roman soldiers who were following orders and were the only ones who had the authority to fulfill the Roman command… if we follow the text of Luke he specifically says ‘there they crucified Him’ …’they’ also crucified the two criminals ‘and the criminals, one on the right hand and the other on the left’. And so that we were in no doubt who the ‘they’ are Luke continues ‘And they divided His garments and cast lots’
The Gospels of Matthew and Mark are very specific of the ill treatment laid upon Jesus by the Roman soldiers; from their mocking, scourging and final nailing of Jesus to that dreadful cross…
It was the Roman soldiers who Jesus requested forgiveness for and no-one else…not even the Jews who cried “Crucify Him”…for they knew what they were doing.
JH 1:11 He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him.
And they still do not receive Him …nothing has changed….