Luke 23:39–43: Then one of the criminals who were hanged blasphemed Him, saying, “If You are the Christ, save Yourself and us.” But the other, answering, rebuked him, saying, “Do you not even fear God, seeing you are under the same condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward of our deeds; but this Man has done nothing wrong.” Then he said to Jesus, “Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.” And Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.”
In those moments on the cross he had become profoundly humble. He had come to possess the bankruptcy of spirit that Jesus requires: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” He knew he had nothing within himself to commend him to God. In this spirit he turned to address Jesus who, he had concluded, was the Messiah, King of the coming kingdom. “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” He did not say, “Remember my works.” Neither did he say, “Remember that I aligned myself with you in your death.” He said only, “Remember me.” He asked for mercy. That is all any of us can ask for. The dying words of the devout astronomer Copernicus were: “I do not ask for the grace that you gave St. Paul; nor can I dare to ask for the grace that you granted to St. Peter; but, the mercy which you did show to the dying robber, that mercy, show to me.” 1
Your Word is Truth
This is a very vivid picture between a hard heart and a humble heart. Are you stuck in your own pride and self righteousness, or do you see yourself as a sinner at the mercy of a holy God? It is in our desperate humility that we reach up for the hand of Jesus to save us again and again. Reach up to Him today and ask Him to help you.
Remember me, O Lord, visit me with Your salvation. –Psalm 106:4
You Alone are God
Heaven is a gift given to the broken, not the boastful. – TWEET IT
Your Will be Done
Lord, thank you for providing an immediate entry into heaven, after my last breath on earth.
1. Hughes, R. K. (1998). Luke: that you may know the truth. Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.