Surely the reason Christ said, “Father, forgive them,” was because even in that terrible hour He knew that this was the message He had come through all eternity to deliver. The entire plan of salvation would have been lost had He forgotten that not in spite of injustice and brutality and unkindness and disobedience but precisely because of them He had come to extend forgiveness to the family of man. Anyone can be pleasant and patient and forgiving on a good day. A Christian has to be pleasant and patient and forgiving on all days.
Is there someone in your life who perhaps needs forgiveness? Is there someone in your home, someone in your family, someone in your neighborhood who has done an unjust or an unkind or an unchristian thing? All of us are guilty of such transgressions, so there surely must be someone who yet needs your forgiveness.
And please don’t ask if it is fair that the injured should have to bear the burden of forgiveness for the offender. Don’t ask if “justice” doesn’t demand that it be the other way around. When it comes to our own sins, we don’t ask for justice. What we plead for is mercy—and that is what we must be willing to give.
Jeffrey R. Holland, "Amazed at the Love Jesus Offers Me", New Era, Dec. 2008, 2–7