Can you imagine being the very first person that got to walk into Paradise with Jesus immediately after His crucifixion? I weep at the thought. I can almost picture it, the two of them entering Heaven’s glory. The thief weeping and laughing as Jesus smiles and hugs him. What hope this story gives to us all! A hope of redemption. A hope of new life when all seems lost.
Hope has been the theme of my story since I started this blog. Today I am here to remind you~
Don’t give up hope.
Not on a child who has gone astray, not on a loved one who you’ve prayed desperately for, and not on yourself.
There are so many lessons from the story of the thief on the cross. The account is only mentioned in one gospel, but the message has a huge impact. The thief did nothing to deserve forgiveness. The thief did nothing to merit him walking into eternal paradise with Jesus. He simply believed.
As the scene unfolds, I can see Mary the mother of Jesus weeping at the foot of the cross, but I also wonder about the mother of the thief. Was she there as well? Was she weeping for her son? Was his wife there, or perhaps his sister? Prayers seemed unanswered for the son, the husband, the brother. There had been no repentance. He was being crucified. All seemed lost. This was the end.
But it wasn’t. With his last breath he saw his sinfulness. He understood Who Jesus truly was and He understood that only Jesus, the Son of God could forgive his trespasses and take him to heaven.
Hope was not lost.
Jesus did not give up on that thief. Through horrifying agony and pain, He loved unconditionally. He gave mercy and grace. He forgave. As He took upon Himself the sins of all mankind, the agony and pain He endured were for that thief. They were for your son or daughter, and for your spouse. They were for your brother or sister and they were for you.
Whatever situation you find yourself in, keep bringing it to Jesus.
Your past, your present or your future.
There is always hope at the foot of the cross.
Walk into Easter simply believing that because of Jesus there is hope with every breath you take. Walk into Easter holding on to that hope. Walk into Easter holding on to the thief’s redemptive story. Walk into Easter holding on to Jesus, the Son of God Who gave Himself for you.
I John 5:13-15
Psalm 16:8-9, 31:24, 71:14, 112:6-7
Romans 8:37, 12:12, 15:13
I Corinthians 13:7
Philippians 1:6, 4:6
2 Peter 3:8-9