Friday, April 4, 2014

Station 11 - Jesus offers Paradise to the Crucified Thief

Station 11 - Jesus Promises Paradise to the Penitent Thief
One of the criminals hanging beside him scoffed, “So you’re the Messiah, are you? Prove it by saving yourself—and us, too, while you’re at it!” But the other criminal protested, “Don’t you fear God even when you have been sentenced to die? We deserve to die for our crimes, but this man hasn’t done anything wrong.” Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your Kingdom.” And Jesus replied, “I assure you, today you will be with me in paradise.” (Luke 23:39-43 NLT)
There are three crosses on the hill that day. One condemned criminal taunts Jesus with his dying breath, the other speaks in his defense and simply asks that the Lord will remember him. Not much of a sinner's prayer really. Barely a gasp of hope. But it is enough for Jesus. "Sure. You can come with me today to Paradise." What a promise - to a desperate criminal who only had a few hours of life left in him. This man has no time to pay Jesus back or to live a life of noble service as restitution for his crimes. But still his desperate cry was good enough for Jesus.
So we thank you Lord that you offer eternal life to all who ask humbly in faith no matter how far gone we are. Heaven is for broken repentant people like me. So we pray once more "We adore you Lord Jesus and we bless you, for by your very cross you have redeemed the world." In the name of the name that is above all other names we pray. AMEN

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