Grace is getting something we don't deserve (like eternal life), or not receiving what we deserve (like a punishment). Therefore, it is similar to forgiveness. And Jesus Christ prayed 'Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.'
This prayer is, in the first place, for the people who were executing Jesus and for those who urged Pontius Pilate to sentence to death. By praying for their forgiveness Jesus shows the size of God's grace. Also, the recipient of this prayer is extended to everyone who has sin. And we are included.
Although Jesus had the power to forgive, he prayed to God instead of declaring forgiveness. And the reason is because the recipients did not come to Jesus with faith. God's grace is open to everyone but at the same time, it is applicable to those who have faith. That's why Jesus did not declare their forgiveness. It requires us to have faith in Jesus.
And they needed to be forgiven because they were guilty for not knowing Jesus, despite of all the proofs. Their unbelief didn't come from their inability to understand, but it came from their rejection of faith. As we wait for Easter, let us carefully exam our hearts whether we are reluctant to know more and more about God or not.
1. This Friday we will sing a special song at the prayer night service.
2. Next Sunday is Easter and we will have corporate worship service at 11:00am.