Lent Day 26 // Jesus Promises the Kingdom to the Good Thief

Image by Beautiful Light Photography

Image by Beautiful Light Photography

Luke 23:34-43

“...Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, they know not what they do,” Luke 23:34

HOLY MOLY. We have some POWERFUL and loving words to start today off. Even KNOWING what He is about to go through, Christ asks our Father to forgive.

In the midst of the pain He’s already going through, knowing how much pain is yet to come, and He’s still caring for His flock. The soldiers jeered at Christ, everyday people stood by watching and being hateful, even the rulers were talking smack.

“He saved others, let Him save Himself...” they said about Him.

How many times did the people have to dare Christ to prove Himself, even though time and time again they had His examples and miracles before them?

Even despite the examples of love and righteousness He provided them for years, here they are now, mocking and crucifying Him. 

The sign above Christ’s cross read,

“The King of the Jews,”

which was meant in an entirely mocking manner. Even one of the criminals hanging beside Christ (the last place you’d think would be an opportunity for insulting remarks), began to join in and mock Christ.

The other thief hushed the first thief, and stood up for Christ. He made a point to say that at least they (the two thieves) had been judged according to their actions. They (according to the law) deserved to be getting crucified, but Christ did not deserve to be crucified.

He then turns to Christ and begs Him to remember him when Christ goes into His kingdom. Christ tells the man,

“Amen, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.” 

This interaction is only presented in the gospel of Luke. According to the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops, this serves to show that Luke’s understanding is that the ultimate destination of a Christian is to be with Jesus (in paradise). 

Truly, the goal of every Christian should be to be with Christ in paradise! Christ, even in on the cross being physically, mentally, and emotionally tormented, cared so much he comforted and promised paradise to the Good Thief. 

Reflection 

1. What parts of our faith give you the hardest time? When do you, yourself, think “God, prove yourself!” When these times come up, try to think more like the Good Thief, and less like going with the crowd. Be more thankful and grateful for everything that God HAS provided 

2. It’s easy in these days to get overwhelmed with work, school, family, and more. It’s easy to skimp on prayer and personal reflection with Christ. What can you do to make sure when you start to get overwhelmed, that you (like the good thief), say,

“Jesus, remember me,”

and be more patient and appreciative of what we have?