How Reckon We the Love of God?

Scripture:  Luke 23:v. 33, 39-43 – And when they came to the place that is called The Skull, there they crucified Him, and the criminals, one on His right and one on His left... One of the criminals who were hanged, railed at Him saying, 'Are you not the Christ? 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 receive justly for we are receiving the just reward for our deeds, but this man has done nothing wrong. And he said, Jesus remember me when You come into your kingdom.' And He said to him, Truly I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.

It’s a fallen world, yep, with people being people.  Stuff happens, and we see this all the time, even without tuning into the news.  Everything is available to corruption by exposure to circumstances, others, time, gravity, you name it, and this everything includes us, though we may live as if we're exempt.  Sometimes we don't wake up until that troubling truth is nose to nose with us.  Then our fragile state becomes more real. Imagine an injured hurt child brought into an emergency room.  There is blood showing from an obviously painful injury involving the arm.  The child is crying, the siblings nervous, as the parents try to explain the pencil stuck there in the boy's arm.  The attending doctor gives a careful and confident exam, giving the diagnosis.  Then she prescribes a pain reliever and leaves, the pencil still there, stuck.  Nothing wrong with that, right? The problem is that, odd as it is, the child-patient is responded to with symptomatic relief rather than causal relief.  Causal relief addresses the main problem with removal of the embedded pencil, cleaning the wound, and dressing it.  This relief addresses the cause.
Seeing us clearly, God gives causal relief.

Now, back to Calvary, we have one [very cynical] thief on the cross seeing his greatest need being the fixing of his dire situation. [Save thyself, and us. v.39] In other words, 'Take me off this cross, fix my wounds, clean me up, give me fresh clothes, fix me a sandwich and get me a diet Coke... and how about a Lyft ride home?'  Never mind that his soul is lost, and that his inner poverty put him on the cross.  Hell is simply waiting for his heart to stop. Our other nameless thief, on the other side of Jesus, however, is being transformed,['Dost not thou fear God?' v.40]an introspective and worshipful query.  He appreciates his sin and the need for justice, confessing. ['...we receive the due reward of our deeds...'] He appreciates above natural ability the uniqueness of Jesus, the man, the righteous. ['...this man hath done nothing amiss...'v.41]  Then for his petition, 'Jesus, Lord, remember me...' he appreciates His majesty, followed by '...when Thou comest into Thy kingdom...v.42, a declaration reserved for a king.  Without personal works, but by believing, despite a wild and pitiful past, this thief goes on to be justified, Jesus saying 'Today shalt thou be with me in Paradise' v.43.

Facing death without any illusions, this thief saw beyond his sight, the love of God, the mercy of God, the divinity of Jesus, and his own limitations all set upon a saving hope, saying 'Remember me', his sacred and final whisper.  'Remember me.' So as we rest our heart, soul, mind, and strength with the knowing of Jesus, and how love beyond measure has shown up, we can rejoice greatly.  We can rejoice knowing Him as our causal relief, our savior.
Prayer: With joy, Abba, I choose to bless You this day, for who You are, and the love You've shown.  From the depths of my heart, I thank You.  Amen.

(by Dr. McNeal Brockington)

5 Comments


Stephanie Miller - May 27th, 2020 at 8:17am

Amen!

Micah - May 27th, 2020 at 6:03pm

Yes Amen!

Debora - May 28th, 2020 at 7:43am

Amen

Pat Towns - May 28th, 2020 at 11:58am

Amen!!! So grateful that Christ gives me complete relief from my sins.

Novella - May 30th, 2020 at 1:52pm

Rejoice and again, rejoice

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