(Enjoy this special devotion written by a guest, Steven Alwine!)
“Lord, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” Luke 23:42 reminds us of what we have to offer Jesus. When the criminal said it, he was hanging on his own cross just a few feet away! What could he offer Jesus, save acknowledgement of who Jesus is?
(What have you tried to offer God instead of yourself?)
We have done Him no favors to repay, so we cannot say, “Lord, remember the solid I did you a couple weeks ago when you come into your kingdom.”
Read Isaiah 64:6 silently.
Our efforts to procure our own righteousness are like filthy rags. Can you imagine negotiating with God and our currency is soiled strips of cloth? “Yes, I see you’re the Lord of the universe, but may I interest You in this pile of filth?”
(Have you ever tried to make deals with God?)
Read these two sentences slowly and aloud.
Our words and deeds do not change the nature of who He is.
Instead, the nature of who He is should change our words and deeds.
The criminal teaches us that sin demands punishment. When we do wrong, there stands to be punishment, but the innocent should not suffer the fate of the guilty. The Kingdom of God is not of this world. How could a man suffocating on a cross be on the cusp of a kingdom on earth? And the greatest thing we could hope for is to be remembered by Christ as He reigns in holy power and authority.
According to the Gospel of Luke, the last thing Jesus says to another living soul is His response to those who acknowledge who He is, with nothing else to give and nothing on this earth to gain, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”