March 28, 2017

At the Crucifixion: Close to Jesus

Luke 23:39-43

“We are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.” Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”

—  Luke 23:41-42

By their own testimony, the criminals who were crucified with Jesus had led totally worthless lives. They were outlaws and rebels who were now simply getting what they deserved.

But one of them saw the innocence of Jesus and had a change of heart. The Holy Spirit worked miracles in that criminal’s life even though he was in his last hour.

Somehow this career criminal was able to think past his own pain, to feel sorrow for the person hanging on the cross next to him. He became one of the few persons there who spoke the truth about the dying Jesus’ innocence and sinlessness.

This man also—of all people—became one of the first to understand that the death of Jesus would not be the end of Jesus, and that the mocking sign above Jesus’ head was true: Jesus was the King and would soon come into his kingdom!

Further, the Spirit moved this man’s heart and mind to grasp that the one who was being crucified next to him could forgive him, erasing every sin of his spent life and bringing new life beyond death. And, just as Jesus promised him, this man would soon experience everlasting life with Jesus in Paradise.

Have you asked Jesus to remember you?

Sinless, innocent Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom. May that kingdom come soon, on earth as it is in heaven. Amen.

About the author — Fred Bultman

Fred Bultman began a “second career” as a pastor in 1997, after a first career in the banking business.  He served as pastor to congregations in the U.S. and Canada. In retirement, he continues to enjoy sharing in the ministry of the churches in and around his home in Fremont, Michigan.

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