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Archive for April 20th, 2022

I read something (multiple times) over the Easter weekend that has been ruminating in my mind, tossing and turning.

I do not know the originator of these words, I do know their theology, the church they attend, the denomination to which they belong … or if they do. All I know is …

the simplicity and truth of this conversion is undeniable.

It comes from Luke 23:39-43:

One of the criminals hanging beside him scoffed, “So you’re the Messiah, are you? Prove it by saving yourself—and us, too, while you’re at it!”

But the other criminal protested, “Don’t you fear God even when you have been sentenced to die? We deserve to die for our crimes, but this man hasn’t done anything wrong.” Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your Kingdom.”

And Jesus replied, “I assure you, today you will be with me in paradise.”

We see in this passage the telling of Jesus and two criminals hanging on their crosses. The first declares, in clearly mocking, disbelieving tones, who Jesus is and what he could do for them … based on what others say, not what he believes.

Then, the second speaks and you can hear his sincerity, his humility as he states the truth of his situation, his deserving of this punishment for his crime. And then he simply asks Jesus to remember him when he comes into his kingdom. He knows who this Jesus is and knows that only he can save this man’s soul, his eternity.

Then Jesus asks him to pray a prayer …

Nope

Jesus assures him that he will be with him in paradise, in heaven. That is it.

It is SO, SO simple and clear.

Believe and be saved!

Here (below) is what has been percolating in my mind these days … not sure the original source, but I am thankful for the reminder to me to keep thinks simple, believe and be saved (Acts 16:31) :

“How does the thief on the cross fit into your theology? No baptism, no communion, no confirmation, no speaking in tongues, no mission trip, no volunteerism, and no church clothes. He couldn’t even bend his knees to pray. He didn’t say the sinner’s prayer and among other things, he was a thief. Jesus didn’t take away his pain, heal his body, or smite the scoffers. Yet it was a thief who walked into heaven the same hour as Jesus simply by believing. He had nothing more to offer other than his belief that Jesus was who he said he was. No spin from brilliant theologians. No ego or arrogance. No Shiny lights, skinny jeans, or crafty words. No haze machine, donuts, or coffee in the entrance. Just a naked dying man on a cross unable to even fold his hands to pray.”

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