March 23, 2022

The Best of the Portals of Prayer

Read: Luke 24:34-38

Father, Forgive Them

These words, according to Dr. Luther, “clearly show that our Lord was attending to His true priestly office even while suspended in the air upon the cross … he prayed thus that all might know why He was brought to the cross and that they might receive comfort from this knowledge.”

It is indeed significant that our Savior’s first word from the cross was a prayer for His enemies. Prayer as well as sacrifice to the office of a priest. While He was sacrificing Himself on the altar of the cross for the sins of the world, He prayed for those who crucified Him. This is a great comfort for us. For we, too, in truth are among the number of His crucifiers. Since He died for our sins, we must share in the guilt of those who nailed Him to the cross. When He prayed for His crucifiers, He was praying for us, and the prayer of a dying Son is not prayed in vain.
The memory of His prayer should give Christians strength to “pray for those who persecute you” [Matthew 5:44]. It is only when we thus pray for our enemies that we can be called the children of God and have fellowship with Jesus, who blessed His enemies in death.
O Prince of Peace, who on the cross did pray for those who crucified You, implant in our hearts the virtues of faith and love, that we may also overcome evil with good. Amen.

March 23, 1945

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