Sunday, January 16, 2011

Comforts from the Cross - Day 8

Jesus, Remember Me

And he said, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom." -Luke 23:42

"Since the beginning of time, there have only been three kinds of people." This thought sounds quite strange to open a chapter with this thought, but we have a unique opportunity to observe these three types of people in one place.  Three crosses on a hill outside the city of Jerusalem over two thousand years ago is the best illustration of these three types of people. A short account of this can be found in Luke 23:32-43.

In the story here, we see three men.  All appear to be criminals, but in actuality only two are guilty of crimes.  They seem utterly helpless, incapable of doing anything to save themselves. There is no time for apologies or a second chance.  They only experience suffering that will eventually lead to death. "This is the exact representation of the spiritual condition of everyone who has ever lived." I am classified as a guilty criminal and so are you. Unfortunately, the bondage of sin has produced suffering that will ultimately lead to death.

The criminals that day each responded differently to Jesus.  One cried out in his anger and unbelief, asking Jesus to just do something, anything to save him.  The other man cried in faith, asking for Jesus to remember him.  He knew he had violated the laws and was dying for it.  His condemnation seemed as if justice were being served.  He was correct, but little did he know that "he was about the receive the due reward for someone else's deed.  He pleads for mercy, 'Jesus, remember me.'"

Jesus is the third man. The One "who captures our attention and His presence transforms everything."  The man who cried for mercy obtained it from Jesus that day.  Jesus represents us too, but in a very unique way, before the Father. He was the only One able to save Himself.  He kept the law perfectly and is able to present those who trust in Him before the Father.  The Bible says that "He was numbered with the transgressors."  It was out of love for you and me, that He became one of us.

Today, I rejoice in the truth that Jesus became one of us, so that He could provide mercy and pardon for sin. On the cross, He did not just remember one criminal, but many.

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