In the cruellest of places, in the most unlikely of places, one is praying the most urgent of prayers being surrounded by the most bigoted of religious leaders and the insensitive military executioners who were fulfilling their rostered duties for the day. What an atmosphere in which to pray!
There are three victims there on Mount Calvary. The central figure has a title of ridicule placed above the crown of thorns on his head. The others are justifiably punished for their vicious crimes. The list of charges made against them was stamped with the words” “Guilty as charged”.
On the mount we have a state of great confusion and of great contradiction yet with great conviction along with great consolation. Amidst the rabble there comes an earnest, hoarse appealing whisper: “Lord, remember me when you come into your kingdom”!
A cross is turned into a confessional! The thief called Jesus, Lord! That is the very reason the priests charged Jesus with blasphemy because He made Himself equal with God! Heavenly illumination shone that day in the heart and mind of this thief! “Lord, remember me”. What on earth could Jesus remember of this wicked man appealing for citizenship in His Kingdom!?
The thief was not appealing for justice (for justice was now being executed), no, not justice, it was for mercy he prayed – for compassion! In His public ministry Jesus had promised: “He Who comes to Me will not be cast aside – I will never, no never reject one who comes to Me” (John 6: 37 AMP). The Lord’s response was an expression of the very nature of Jesus Himself. His reply to the plea, “Remember Me”, was swift and all embracing: “Today you will be with Me in Paradise”!
“Today” – what speed!
“with Me” – what company!
“in Paradise” – what bliss!
One thief died in his sin, the other forgiven of his sins because of his prayer to the Bearer of all our sins. Grimly one thief went out in desolation – the other with consolation.
“The dying thief rejoiced to see
salvation in his day
And there may I though vile as He,
wash all my sins away.
I do believe, I will believe,
That Jesus died for me!
That on the cross He shed His blood,
From sin to set me free.
Dear dying Lamb! Thy precious blood
Shall never lose its power,
‘Till all the ransomed church of God
Be saved to sin no more”.
THERE ARE FOUR CROSSES – ARE YOU IDENTIFIED?
- There is the cross man makes for himself – the cross of moral retribution.
- There is the cross man makes for man – the cross of judicial punishment.
- There is the cross made for the God/Man – The cross of redemption, and,
- There is the cross the Lord expects all His Followers to accept – the cross of Christian Discipleship.
Are you bearing your cross of Identification with Him?
Carefully consider.Thank Sri 🙂