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weekly Meditation:

 from the rev. anne seddon

SCRIPTURE: Luke 23:39-43

 "One of the criminals who were hanged there kept deriding Jesus and saying, "Are you not the Messiah? 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 have been condemned justly, for we are getting what we deserve for our deeds, but this man has done nothing wrong." Then he said, "Jesus remember me when you come into your kingdom." Jesus replied, "Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise."


In the course of my Holy Week reading, I came across a thoughtful reflection on the above passage offered by Dr Daniel Lacich in the Trinity School for Ministry Lenten Devotional. I have chosen to share that with you today.


"As Jesus was suffering on the cross on our behalf, Luke tells us there were two different perspectives, literally and theologically, as to what was taking place. The thief hanging on one side 'railed at him'  (23:39),  while the thief looking at Jesus from the other side cried out 'remember me when you come into your kingdom' (23:42). One saw his own suffering and raged at Jesus, the other saw his own guilt and cried out to Jesus.


When we look upon the cross we need to have two perspectives. One that sees the suffering of Jesus on our behalf and the other that sees our sin and guilt as being what necessitated that suffering. We can either flee from the reality of our sin at that point, as the first thief tried to do. Or we can humbly accept the reality of our brokenness and cry out to Jesus as the second thief did.


But there is something more that the second thief helps us to see. He saw that Jesus was not just another man. The thief saw something much more. He saw that Jesus was the King and that he would be established in a kingdom. He also saw the injustice of the King being crucified and yet somehow knew that he could benefit from that injustice. But that benefit was not automatic. He knew he must humble himself and ask."


May we each have a blessed and spiritually rich Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday (Triduum). Then rejoice in a glorious Easter celebration as from the depths of our beings we pray with the psalmist: "Bless the Lord, O my soul, let all that is within me bless his holy Name!" (Psalm 103:1)




Acknowledging my brokenness and laying at the foot of the cross.




Lord Jesus, rescue me a sinner and grant me entrance into your Kingdom. Give me eyes to see as the thief who cried out to you, that I may cry out to you daily to receive the joy of your presence, and the gift of salvation, from you my one true King. AMEN!

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