Luke 23: 42 (NLT) Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your Kingdom.”
1. Luke is the only book which mentions that one of the criminals made this request. Mark 15:32 said, “two criminals who were being crucified with Jesus ridiculed Him”. Matt. 27:38 and John 19:18 just mentioned two others crucified with Christ.2. The criminal in Luke defended Jesus. He admitted that he was guilty.
3. Jesus had nothing to gain from granting this request. This criminal would never be able to tell anyone about Christ, like the woman at the well. This criminal would never write letters and spread the Good News like Paul. Like us, this criminal had nothing good enough to pay for his salvation.
4. This criminal now fully understands and is grateful for God’s never ending grace.
5. Barabbas was also granted an unearned pardon too. I hope he asked God to remember him too.
Why do I still try to earn God’s grace? It would be like writing a check to cover all the world’s debts.I remember the day I was baptized and publicly confessed my acceptance of Christ in my life. I remember my eyes filled with tears, chest tightened, and being overwhelmed with an unexplainable feeling of love. Perhaps only tears could express how my life was changed then. I was about ten and stood and “wept out” my heart to strangers and friends. I said being baptized was my way of telling God I loved Him too. On the ride home, my Dad offered me some words of encouragement. He said, “When Mark is overcome with love, it comes out all over.”
Perhaps this was what happened with the one criminal. No he didn’t have to be baptized in order to be remembered. Christ just wanted him to accept Him and not care who knew it. Much like that criminal, I was not afraid to publicly accept Christ as my savior. I will always remember that day and I know He will always remember me.
Loving Father, thank you for loving me so much to die for me. Fill me with your love so that it comes out all over everyone else. How could anyone come to the cross with a dry eye? I accept your perfect gift of grace that I could never earn. Help me let the world know of my love for you. Please remember me when I come into your Kingdom. Please forgive me when I take your love for granted. Do what you want with me, I am yours. In your name I pray, Amen.
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