Jesus was only able to request forgiveness because He was in a close intimate relationship with His Heavenly Father. It is by no accident that Jesus used this term. In his day, most people approached God as all powerful, majestic, all-knowing, in charge, and all of those things are true. But Jesus took it a step further. He approached God as his loving, caring, trustworthy … Father. When he taught his disciples to pray, he started with, “Our Father…”
In Aramaic, the language of the Jews at the time, the word for “Father” meant, “Daddy” or “Papa.” It was an affectionate word, a word of trust. When Jesus was dying, he first expressed prayer to his Father. He asked his Father to forgive.
Luke 23:34 Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, because they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided his clothes and cast lots.
When we find ourselves faced with a situation that overwhelmes us, we long to take the situation to our Father. Maybe you had a less-than-ideal father on earth, but God is not like that. God is the perfect parent, always loving and affirming, even in His discipline. Your Heavenly Father will help you do what you cannot do alone. God your Father will help you to forgive the unforgivable. Come to him first. Ask for his help.
Jesus models forgiving the unforgivable as he prays for forgiveness from the cross. As we recognize that he is praying for us, and that we are no better off than those we need to forgive, we gain the power to draw on the Father’s love to forgive others.