Red blood is the sea around Me,
Pain is the wound in My side;
“Traitor” why desert Me?
Conspirator traded for a silver-bribe.
Kiss for a betrayal of a brother, (Judas)
Torn from My family and mother,
Saved is the man you gave Me, (thief)
My crucifixion will set men free.[/pullquote4]Shortly before Christ’s death, while still on the cross, we encounter one of the most touching narratives in the Bible. While the Lord was experiencing the physical and emotional agony of the cross, He still expressed the divine nature of His love for a hurting man. He had the compassion to listen to the pleas of a common thief who cried out to him. He ignored His own pain to address the needs of a dying man.
Remember, Jesus loved and died for even those who despised and rejected Him. He had been whipped, beaten, scorned and nailed to a cross yet none of this deterred His love. While slowly and painfully dying on the cross, He had a conversation with the two men next to him. Both were thieves, but only one was repentant and reached out to Him. This ancient image is not unlike our world today. For those who call out to Him from any walk of life, He’s there. His divine love reaches beyond our external cries and responds to the cry of our heart. Paradise – yes, it’s real. Yes, we can spend eternity with Him surrounded by that same all-powerful love that touched the heart of a lowly thief some 2,000 years ago.
Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children, and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God (Eph. 5.1-2).
Hope knows no limit to its endurance, no end to its fortitude, no fading of its quest. It can outlast anything. Hope continues to stands when all else has fallen.
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