Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”
The two thieves represent two choices. One thief demands proof. The other pleads for hope. One looks to escape and the other looks to eternity. These choices stand as constant reminders that the cross of Christ demands a response.
Hope is personal. Very personal. Whether through worship, adversity, desperation or pain, we collide into the reality that our only hope is Jesus. We can’t hope eternally in friends. Friends will fail us. We can’t hope in institutions. Institutions over the course of eternity will evaporate like the ephemeral mist of the morning dew. We can’t hope in hidden treasures. All treasures, short of grace, are water through our fingers. We can’t hope in flowery platitudes because there will be a day when they will all wilt upon the parched, unforgiving soil of our brokenness. Our hope is in the One who suffers next to us and says, “Today, you will be with me in paradise.”
This glimpse of the cross reflects the absolute power of grace to snatch anyone from the jaws of destruction.
Was there anything the thief on the cross could do? Absolutely nothing. He couldn’t start a small group, feed the poor, go to the synagogue or study the scriptures. He found himself at the end of his life and the only thing he could do was to confess his sin and cry out to Jesus.
Celebrate this scene of the darkest day! Grace rules even when we have no more time. Grace ruled the day then and now.
Hope is the word which God has written on the brow of every man.
Hope was born on the cross.
Because hope was born we don’t have to be ashamed because he bore our shame.
Because hope was born we don’t have to constantly obsess about whether we could be good enough because He is our righteousness.
Because hope was born we are free.
Because hope was born we have purpose.
Because hope was born we are going to be OK.
And that’s worth celebrating!
I simply can’t build my hopes on a foundation of confusion, misery and death… I think… peace and tranquillity will return again.