Encounters with Jesus - Day 5 (6 September 2019)

Morning Encounter:

Read:

Two criminals were led out to be put to death with Jesus. When the soldiers came to the place called “The Skull,” they nailed Jesus to a cross. They also nailed the two criminals to crosses, one on each side of Jesus. Jesus said, “Father, forgive these people! They don’t know what they’re doing.” While the crowd stood there watching Jesus, the soldiers gambled for his clothes. The leaders insulted him by saying, “He saved others. Now he should save himself, if he really is God’s chosen Messiah!” The soldiers made fun of Jesus and brought him some wine. They said, “If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself!” Above him was a sign that said, “This is the King of the Jews.” One of the criminals hanging there also insulted Jesus by saying, “Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and save us!” But the other criminal told the first one off, “Don’t you fear God? Aren’t you getting the same punishment as this man? We got what was coming to us, but he didn’t do anything wrong.” Then he said to Jesus, “Remember me when you come into power!” Jesus replied, “I promise that today you will be with me in paradise.”

(Luke 23.32-43)

Reflect:

Luke tells us that Jesus was crucified between two criminals. In Mark & Matthew we are told they are thieves. The thief (who seems to have a change of heart) makes the point that they are being punished justly, they have broken the law and their suffering is in response to that. Jesus however is innocent. Jesus offers him far more than he asks for – he would have a place in the kingdom. But even more, that day itself, he would enter Paradise – a Persian word for ‘garden’ a place of bliss, a place associated with Jesus himself.

Respond: 

Read this story slowly and as often as you are able. How might God wish to speak to you today?

Midday Meditation:

‘The more you read the Bible; and the more you meditate on it, the more you will be astonished with it.’

(Charles Spurgeon)

Evening Reflection:

It is wonderful to be grateful and to sing your praises, Lord Most High!
It is wonderful each morning to tell about your love
and at night to announce how faithful you are.
I enjoy praising your name to the music of harps, because everything you do makes me happy, and I sing joyful songs. 

(From Psalm 92)

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