Luke 23:42 (NLT2) – Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your Kingdom.”
Have you ever thought about how outlandish this request was? Here was a violent man who by his own admission was receiving his just reward of crucifixion. He didn’t deny his guilt. Perhaps the only thing that is more shocking than his request was the fact that his “death bed” request was granted. But why? What are we to learn from this?
Some time ago someone broke into a department store. What was interesting was that they didn’t steal a single thing. All they did was spend their time inside switching price tags. An outboard motor was marked at $5 while stationary was priced at hundreds. And then they escaped.
The next morning it took four hours before anyone noticed there was a problem. In the meantime, some folks got great deals! But the pricing had nothing to do with the value of the item itself.
You see, we are living in a day and age when the value system is totally bonkers. We’ve raised the value of cheap thrills and degraded the value of human beings to nothing more than a pile of cells composed of a few minerals and water.
Jesus’ incredible granting of the thief’s request shows us that even the greatest of losers are valuable. Jesus was showing us by his response (Luke 23:43 – I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise) reveals what Jesus thinks of the value of the human race.
And get this: what could the thief do for Jesus? Nothing. Zero. Zilch. Nada. He would never be able to do a single thing for the cause of Jesus. But he didn’t have to in order for his value to be recognized. The love of the Lord doesn’t depend on what we do for him or could do if given the chance. You have value just because you exist!
Try to hold onto that thought the next time someone shames you, attacks you, or steamrolls you into the dirt. When someone tries to mark down your value, just smile because you know the truth about yourself. If you’d been the thief on the cross and made that request of Jesus you would have heard the same words spoken back to you that the thief heard.
I love what Max Lucado said in No Wonder They Call Him the Savior said: “…it makes me smile to think that there is a grinning ex-con walking the golden streets who knows more about grace than a thousand theologians. No one else would have given him a pray. But in the end, that is all that he had. And in the end, that is all it took.”
PRAYER: Lord Jesus, have mercy on us sinners and remember us when your Kingdom comes in its fullness! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Copyright by 2020 by Galen C. Dalrymple. ><}}}”>