Journey to the Cross
Friday, February 26
Neal Gaskin, member of RPC since 1974
Father forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing. - Luke 23:34
One of the criminals who were hanged there kept deriding him and saying, "Are you not the Messiah? Save yourself and us!" But the other rebuked him, saying, "Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed have been condemned justly, for we are getting what we deserve for our deeds, but this man has done nothing wrong." Then he said, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom." He replied, "Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise." - Luke 23:39-43
Even when they were about to do their worst to him, Jesus asked the Father to forgive these people. He loved them even then. This is God's example to me and all of us that we must have unconditional forgiveness in our hearts for all.
When one of the criminals being crucified mocked him, he did not respond to him, but when the other acknowledged him and who he really was, Christ gave him saving grace and eternal life immediately. How incredible that must have been! Think, to be dying without hope and then in the flash of a moment, to be passing into eternal life. How amazing is that!
There is one more amazing thing I have always taken comfort in. Many people show the cruel cross with Christ on it. As horrible as it was, that did happen. These men all died on their crosses. However, the most amazing and unbelievable thing is that our cross is EMPTY. Christ conquered death as he conquered the cross. Unlike others crucified, He came back and lived. Only he came down off the cross. At Roswell Presbyterian Church, I am reminded of this every time I enter our sanctuary and see our cross. Praise God!
Dear Lord, please help me to be as faithful to you as you have always been to me. Amen