“I assure you, today you will be with me in paradise” Luke 23:43
The second word that God spoke out of the seven before his death.
Two thieves hung next to him on the cross.
One in great mockery said, “Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!”(Luke 23:39)
Yet, the other criminal said, “We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.” (Luke 23:41) “Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” (Luke 23:41-42)
We see two great parallels to suffering, here.
One response to suffering, “I don’t deserve this at all, Why aren’t you saving me God?”
Second response to suffering, “I deserve every bit of this, please remember me.”
One: A thief that mocks Jesus
Two: A thief that says, “remember me, Lord.. I am at your great mercy.”
Do you and I approach suffering and hardship like the first thief or the second? Do we scream for justice like the first, or do we simply plead God in his great power to “remember us.”
Once again a perfect display of Gods grace on our lives. Both people were undeserving of the Kingdom but one in his humility was able to recognize it.
Instead of focusing on what we want to change this week, let’s take time to worship him in gratitude for the things we already have. That means leaving everything else behind and staying presently focused on the cross.