Thought of the Day March 14, 2022 Jesus' second word from the cross

By 2:21 PM

"One the criminals said to Jesus: 'Remember me when you come into your kingdom.' This day you shall be with me in Paradise". Jesus replied: 'This day you will be with me in Paradise."


Along side of Jesus also being crucified were two criminals. There are some similarities between the two men.  Both are suffering the pain of crucifixion. Both are guilty of crime ("We are receiving the due reward of our deeds," v. 41). Both see Jesus, the sign over his head ("King of the Jews," v. 38); they hear the words from his mouth ("Father forgive them," v. 34). And both of these thieves want desperately to be saved from death.

 

However, the good thief observed Jesus from the time they started carrying their crosses to the place of execution. He saw that Jesus did not curse those who nailed him to the cross beams. He noticed the abuse of the hostile crowd.  He saw through his peripheral vision the words that the soldiers on Pilate’s command had nailed to Jesus’ cross: Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews. He witnessed that the first words from Jesus was a prayer for the forgiveness of his enemies. Something about the demeanor of Jesus moved him to rebuke his fellow criminal and profess Jesus innocent. Instead of responding in self-pity and unrepentance, he chose to repent and ask forgiveness from Jesus. Reflect on this scene to understand where he is coming from and what was going on in his heart.


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