by Will Fuller, Kairos-Milwaukie UCC, Milwaukie, OR
Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. Luke 23:24
They know not what they do
Six blind men in a village come across an elephant. One touches the trunk and thinks he is feeling a snake. Another touches a leg and thinks it is a tree, and so on. Each one touches a different part, tells a different story, and argues that his story is the truth.
Like the blind men touching an elephant, those who crucified Christ thought they were killing a dangerous radical, not knowing they were fulfilling Scripture for the resurrection of a savior. Christ called on God to forgive them. But who is “them”? Is it the crucifiers casting lots for his robe? The Hebrew elders who condemned him? The Romans who ruled? The crowd who cried out for Barabbas? The larger crowd who are our forebears? Is it us? In the gracious forgiveness of god, it is all of us -we know not what we do.