Last Sunday on the church calendar was called “Christ the King” Sunday. It’s the day the church celebrates that Jesus Christ is the sovereign Lord of the Universe. With many people shaken by the election, “Christ the King” arrived just in time.
Yet we find King Jesus, not on a throne, but on a cross, dying, between two thieves. At a time when so many people are hurting, perhaps we should remember the last words Jesus spoke to another human being before his death. Jesus told the second thief, “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.”
The thief was moments away from dying; he had nothing good in his record, and yet Jesus assured him: “Today, you will be with me.”
What does this mean?
It means that the blessings and forgiveness of Jesus Christ are available to you, right now, in this moment. We have a hard time taking hold of them because this kind of forgiveness is so hard to comprehend.
We have a hard time forgiving people who hurt us. We carry grudges. We make deposits into our bank account of hurts. We make sure the balance never gets to zero.
And we have an even harder time believing that God forgives those we don’t like.
This is why your life is such a mess. It’s why you worry; why you’re so self-conscious; and why you look down on others.
You’re not forgiving. You’re not asking for his forgiveness.
It’s the most important concept in the world.
It’s the heart of the Christian faith.
If it wasn’t, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords would not have spoken about it on the cross with his dying breath.
They tortured and mocked him and he forgives. The only perfect person who ever lived, took the punishment that we deserved, so that God will treat us, forever and ever, the way he deserved.