Saturday, April 23, 2011
My name isn't important, but you know who I am. I'm the thief that walked the road to Calvary with Jesus. The thief who was condemned to die upon a cross next to the King of Kings. I'd done my fair share of sinning. I'd chosen a life of crime. Do you know how it feels to walk the road of a condemned man--forced to carry his shame and listen to the jury cry for your death. I know all too well, but I accepted the road that I walked.
Three of us walked to our death that day upon dusty roads made of stone---our crosses heavy, a crushing weight that begs for relief. I didn't know at the time, that this day was no ordinary day. There was a man, Jesus, who seemed to be hated and loved for who he was. Not a thief, murderer, or sinner by any means---He was the son of God.
His only crime was claiming that he was such. He'd been known through out the land. Known for calling all sinners to repent for the kingdom of God was at hand, healing the sick, raising the dead, & that seemed to rile the religious order. So much so they brought him before Pilate and demanded his crucifixion.
Finally arriving at Calvary's Hill they hung us up on our crosses for the world to see--to look upon the condemned. There at the feet of Jesus they divided his garments and cast lots. They sneered, yelling "He saved others; let Him save Himself if He is the Christ, the chosen of God."
A sign hung over His head that read THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS. But Jesus, prayed for them saying, "Father forgive them, for they know not what they do." Imagine that--He the condemned praying for those who hated and despised Him. I'd never known or seen such a man as this.
I knew that I deserved my punishment, but this man did not--He did no wrong that required such a punishment. I recognized what those who did not or refused to---Jesus was who He claimed to be and He would live and rule in God's Kingdom. Though I died that day I inherited everlasting life. "Lord, I said, "remember me when You come into your kingdom.
Jesus raised His head, looked upon a sinner--a thief--an outcast, and said "Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise."
There on that Hill, He bore the sins of the world----all in the name of love!