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. ~ Luke 23:42-43
We have just celebrated Easter, where the Light of the world has risen indeed. But maybe, before we move on, we should think back to the cross for a minute.
Picture the scene: Soldiers are barking orders, onlookers are attempting to humiliate the dying men, women are crying, all while Jesus and two criminals struggle for every breath. Their pain and torture were unimaginable. Surely death was not far away.
For the criminals hanging on either side of Jesus, life was on its final countdown; justice had been served. It seemed that they were getting what they deserved in the eyes of those who enforce the law.
Amidst darkness and chaos, one criminal hurled insults at Jesus, while the other asked Jesus to remember him when He entered the Kingdom of God. What a different picture of faith and trust each criminal painted.
One of them somehow knew that all he had to do was ask humble himself and ask Jesus to remember him; and by doing so, he was allowed to enter Paradise when he breathed his last.
Think of it. Suddenly, he was absent from his earthly body and present with the Lord. Imagine his joy and thankfulness!
Jesus died for you, for me, for this thief on the cross – for the whole world. For those of us who place our trust in Jesus as our Savior, our lives on earth are just the beginning. One day we, too, will be absent from our earthly bodies and present with the Lord!
What would you do? Would you have asked Jesus to remember you when He came into His kingdom? Would you do it today? As long as you have breath, it’s never too late.
Written by Guest Contributor Melissa Henderson