Week beginning: 10th April, 2016
By Mark Cawson | Manchester
"Two others, who were criminals, were led away to be put to death with him… One of the criminals who were hanged railed at him, saying, 'Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us!' But the other rebuked him, saying, 'Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.' And he said, 'Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.' And he said to him, 'Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.'"Luke 23:32, 39-43 (ESV)
Meditating about the Cross this last Good Friday, I was particularly drawn to Luke's account of the two criminals who died with Jesus. The two criminals were bound (as we all are) to either reject Jesus or embrace him. Whatever our earthly misdemeanours and fate, we can call on Jesus's name, and if we do so we have the assurance of eternal life with Jesus in Paradise. It is not (and is never) too late for anybody to put their faith in Jesus and repent - so long as they do!
It is a feature of many of our lives as lawyers that we have to deal with some very wicked people who have done awful things, or who appear to have rejected Jesus. It is all too easy for us to write them off as beyond redemption, and for us to consider ourselves superior to them in the eyes of God forgetting our own sins. To do so is, of course, quite wrong. The Kingdom of God is open to all who turn to Jesus.
- That prisoners and other offenders, and those who appear to have rejected Jesus, might come to fear God, and call on Jesus's name, and that God will strengthen and support all those involved in ministry to prisoners and other offenders;
- That we have so much to thank God for in sending his Son to die on the Cross for our sins so that all who believe might have the sure hope of eternal life in Paradise, and that we might use every opportunity that we have to share this Gospel message.