A little FYI. IIRC, there are some early mss that do not possess that verse that has Him saying that. Can there be true forgiveness w/o attrition from those who are being forgiven? I wouldn’t think so. True forgiveness of sin comes from God, and when that is given, the recipient would show some attrition, IMO. So, if the Father truly forgave those soldiers, they would also show some attrition, and we don’t have any record if any of them were forgiven or not. To aver one way or the other would be conjecture at best."Father forgive them, for they know not what they do."
Christ prayed this from the cross over people who were actively killing Him and who were not the least bit repentant about it.
In light of this, I have two questions for consideration:
1. Do you believe that the Father answered Jesus' prayer? I know the text doesn't say; but what do you think?
2. How should it inform our soteriology (if at all), by the fact that (at least on this one occasion) Christ used ignorance as a basis for which the Father ought to forgive sin?