One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us.
But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence.
We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.”
Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”
Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.
It’s a great little section of the Easter series. It’s a conversation that he has with the two criminals that are being prosecuted with him. And then another yesterday, we talked about when Jesus was betrayed by Judas, so a lot has happened. He was put for trial, put up to trial, and the people yelled, and they asked for his execution, and so here we are. He has already walked the seven miles with a cross in his bag. He is already asking for water.
They have given him vinegar instead. It is pretty brutal. We know that these are his last moments, and in his last moments, he comes into contact with two others hanging next to him. And one says, you know, Aren’t You the Messiah, Save yourself, and us, and the other says, Jesus, remember me? And I think that that are two ways that we can go into life. We can be, on the one hand, demanding of Him because He is God. And we know that he has the power to do something. And the other is coming to him with humility and grace and saying, Jesus remember me?
We know that he’s there. We know that he always remembers us. We know that he has the best our best interests in his mind. But there is something so powerful that comes with the humility that this man presented himself in his case, and Jesus did remember him. He says truly, I tell you today you won’t be with me in paradise. And that is a learning lesson for us as we go about our days. We can look at the world like the first criminal, or we can look at the outcome like the second one of humility, one of grace, one of asking for our prayers to be answered but from a place of humility, not from a place of expectation. And so there is only one way to Paradise, and that is through humility that is through believing in Jesus that is through accepting the love of Christ, that is through righteous living, and so my prayer for today is very simple. May we always be humble. May we be slow to anger. May we be quick to love.
Father God, we love you so much. And this week, we continue to learn more about you, learn more about the Easter story, and prepare our hearts for tomorrow. For Good Friday and Sunday for Easter. Or today, we bring up to you in humility. All of our prayers are to remember us. Remember us when you go and give your blessings for the day. Remember us when we need it the most; remember our personal situations; you know us all by name. You know how many hairs we have on our heads, so you know exactly what we need. Some of us are praying for healing in the body. Some of us are praying for healing in the family. Others are praying for addictions to be freed and for financial breakthroughs in the home. Lord, some of us are praying for our house for a marriage for a spouse, Lord, have you know what we need? And we know that through humility, we can come to you and ask for such things. So Lord, remember us. We know that there’s one way to Paradise, and that’s through the acceptance of the end of the love that you give us. So, Lord, we all love you. We accept you. We are honored to celebrate such a wonderful weekend. We are here; we are your living testimonies in the year 2020 to continue to do work in our lives so that we can share your love and the miracles that you perform in our life. We love you with everything in us, and it is in your holy name that we pray. Amen.
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