Lent: A Time for Reflection

40 daysLENT REFLECTIONS: Day 35

Monday, March 30, 2015

Do you think it was somehow fitting that Jesus was crucified between two criminals? Jesus had spent most of his public ministry reaching out to people like these two on either side of Him.

In Luke 19:10, Jesus had told the Pharisees, “The Son of Man came to seek out and to save the lost.” In Mark 2:17, He said, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick.”

As Jesus hung on the cross, He showed the same compassion and concern for these two criminals as He had for others whose paths had crossed His during his three-year ministry.

In Day 35 of Adam Hamilton’s book, 40 Days of Reflection, the author reminds us that both thieves had “initially joined the crowd and the religious leaders in mocking Jesus as he hung between them. But one of the men had a change of heart as he listened to Jesus’ words from the cross. This thief spoke to Jesus, saying, ‘Remember me when you come into your kingdom’ (Luke 23:42).

Hamilton asks, “Was the man simply offering kind words to Jesus; or did he truly understand that Jesus, by his death, was ushering in his kingdom? In either case, at that moment Jesus promised the man that he would join Jesus in paradise.”

Do you think the criminal knew anything about Jesus’ teachings? He had not been baptized, yet Jesus offered him paradise. Why? Because this thief desired to be with Jesus in his eternal kingdom.

What does this teach us about God’s amazing grace?

Read the following scripture today as you continue on this 40-day lent journey: Luke 23:39-43.

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