You will be with me
My old blog balaam.wibsite.com can no longer be accessed.
Using the Wayback Machine I am trying to save whatever can be saved, There are no images available for these old blogs. Except this one, this is the only image to have survived.
This blog is from 26 March 2013
Forty blogs of Lent
Scriptural Way of the Cross
Jesus Promises His Kingdom to the Good Thief
Now one of the criminals hanging there reviled Jesus, saying, “Are you not the Messiah? Save yourself and us.” The other, however, rebuking him, said in reply, “Have you no fear of God, for you are subject to the same condemnation? And indeed, we have been condemned justly, for the sentence we received corresponds to our crimes, but this man has done nothing criminal.” Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” He replied to him, “Amen, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.” Luke 23: 39-43
Repentance is not part of the Gospel. Repentance is the Gospel. ”The time has come,” Jesus said. “The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!” (Mark 1:15, NIV) That is how Jesus started his time of ministry on Earth, and here he finishes the same way, forgiving someone who believes.
Believes that a Messiah that he can see dying is somehow going to come in his kingdom. Which puts the disciples to shame. The disciples have deserted or denied Jesus: Here is a man who believes that somehow the man he can see dying is somehow going to come into his kingdom.
The good news, then is that Jesus forgives, completely. Through the whole of the Passion story he has been forgiving. He refused to accuse his accusers back, asked his Father to forgive those who were torturing and killing him, then he forgives a criminal dying beside him.
Thank God for this forgiveness.