O Jesus. How hard it is to read of the awful beatings, the unfair treatment and the terrible crucifixion You endured. I cannot even imagine the pain You suffered and the overwhelming agony. So many around You were unsympathetic and called for Your death. Yet even in the midst of all this, You were concerned with others.
When they crucified You, You called out for their forgiveness. And even as You were dying, You were not too busy to listen to the petition of one of Your hurting children, the man on the cross next to You. He asked only that You remember him, and You gave him paradise.
Father, You are like that with me. You hold the whole world together by Your power: the earth, the stars, the solar system. The motion of the seas is in Your hand, every storm, every person on the earth, not even a sparrow falls without Your awareness. Yet You are never too busy to hear my cry, my prayer, my thanks. Thank You, that I can come to You at any time and have Your attention.
And You always give more than You are asked. The thief asked for remembrance, You gave him paradise. Your mercy and grace overflows. Your lavish abundance is so great. Many times I ask for something and You blow me away with Your generosity and graciousness. And even when the answer is no, or wait, I can trust that You have my best in mind. Thank You for knowing even better than I, what I need. And for providing it.
The thief said “We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve.” It is the same with me. My deeds deserve death. Only Your blood pays the penalty for my sin, and awards me life, not death.
Thank You for enduring death on a cross, so that I can walk with You in eternity. Thank You Father, for paradise. Amen