My Father, that all bales may bete,
Forgive these men that do me pine.
What they work woot they nought:
Therefore my Father I crave
Let never their sins be sought, searched
But see their souls to save.
These are the last words of Jesus before he is killed. He uses his last breathe to ask God to forgive the soldiers for their ignorance and for simply doing their job. In fact, throughout the entire play, we see the mentality of the nameless soldiers. They do not act in hatred or wickedness. Instead, the soldiers discuss honor and see the action as a part of their business. As they mention:
It may not help here for to hone,
If we shall any worship win.
In this line, they talk about how they shouldn’t delay the crucifixion if they want honor to win. This shows that what they are doing is what they think is just in the eyes of God. In fact, punishing the heathen that was Jesus was how they were “worshipping” God. The audience is supposed to sympathize with Jesus, however the enemy are not the soldiers. Perhaps in the Medieval Times, the high priests did not want to condemn the soldiers because the knights were to be respected members of society.
Source: York Crucifixion