Imagine you were a thief. Something happened in your upbringing that led you to a life of crime and unhappiness.
You were finally caught and on your day of execution, you find yourself along with two other people seeing your final day. All hope seems lost when the guy next to you lets you know that He believes in you.
Suddenly you believe in Him and you ask Him to remember you. He does and He comforts you by promising that very day, you will be with Him in paradise.
If this sounds familiar, you may have read it before or seen it in the movies. We don’t know the thief’s name. It is lost to history. We know the other guy’s name. He is Jesus.
It’s holy week for millions of Christians around the world but the story of the thief on the cross teaches a great lesson to the believer and the non-believer.
Forgiveness is a difficult virtue to practice especially in our darkest moments. Think about it. We find it hard to forgive people for the smallest offenses. Remember the time you were cut off driving up the hill to Wal-Mart? It happened to me and I’m still upset about it.
How about the time you texted your friend and it took him hours to get back to you? How rude. Make sure you bring it up next time you see him.
We hold grudges and remember past transgressions. Jesus did the opposite. The thief deserved to be on the cross and in a sincere moment of humility, he looked to the one person that would see him and love him despite his flaws.
It takes so much energy to be upset at someone and to only think of that someone for his shortcomings. So take a deep breath and make it a clean slate. Clear away everyone’s history and start a new. It’s time for a resurrection.
Easter Sunday is almost here and unlike for the leader of any other religious movement in the world, Christians are celebrating a new beginning because of a life that was laid down and brought up again.
We are all the thief on the cross. We regularly fall short of what we expect of each other and ourselves. This Easter Sunday we are reminded of the greatest example ever shown. An example of forgiveness and love. Take a moment to reflect on who needs your forgiveness. Someone is out there, and is waiting.