Tomorrow will be Good Friday, a day when we commemorate Jesus sacrifice on the cross for us. Each year I like to think on this in a most serious manner… after all: could you or I endure such pain and ridicule for a people who could be so cold and calloused towards God?
This year I happen to be inductively working through the book of Luke and today I came upon chapter 23:
One of the criminals who were hanged there kept deriding him and saying, "Are you not the Messiah? Save yourself and us!" But the other rebuked him, saying, "Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed have been condemned justly, for we are getting what we deserve for our deeds, but this man has done nothing wrong." Then he said, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom." He replied, "Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise."
- Luke 23:39-43
This criminal, hanging next to the savior of the world, was so completely and truly repentant: knowing he deserved his crucifixion… and he desired forgiveness from the One who deserved glory. He defended Jesus and he asked… knowing he deserved NOTHING.
I found myself reflecting: how often do I truly humble myself to a deserving fate in submission to those who have not wronged and deserve better? How often do I deny asking for forgiveness from God or man because of foolish pride?
I feel challenged by this humble criminal hanging on a cross beside my Savior. This Easter season I desire to deeply examine myself, embrace all humility and search for opportunities to honor those whom God is truly reflecting His glory through. To not be afraid to repent of and speak about my flaws, knowing I am lifted up and set free when I submit to humbly bowing down.
The criminal saw it...
And we indeed have been condemned justly, for we are getting what we deserve for our deeds, but this man has done nothing wrong.
- Luke 23:41
The centurion saw it…
When the centurion saw what had taken place, he praised God and said, "Certainly this man was innocent."
- Luke 23:47
Joseph of Arimathea saw it…
though a member of the council, had not agreed to their plan and action…and he was waiting expectantly for the kingdom of God.
- Luke 23:50-51
… surely we can too…
…just something to think about as we prepare for Easter.
Be wonderfully blessed by His sacrifice and presence this Easter!
Linking up with Michelle at Some Girl today :
image from stock.xchng
scripture from NRSV translation