This Friday morning we encounter Jesus on the cross in the text of Luke, but Christ who is INNOCENT is not hanging out alone instead he is hanging between two GUILTY offenders of the law. While facing slurs and demeaning comments from the crowd below one of those hanging next to Jesus challenges him looking for a way out of the situation. (A HOOK UP). He says Jesus if you are all of that save yourself and SAVE US! But the other thief understanding that he is paying for his life of crime and does deserve to be on the cross, quickly comes to Christ defense! Imagine that a well known criminal defending God. He proclaims that Jesus is indeed innocent and persuades the other criminal to leave him alone at the same time asking for favor and forgiveness from Christ.
Friends the fact of the matter is that both of these guilty men were hanging there with Jesus but each was doing it very differently. One was looking for a hook up while the other was looking for a hook up escape, the other was hanging around awaiting justice and found compassion. My question today is how do you approach Jesus, how r u hanging?
Luke 23:32-43 (NRSV)
Two others also, who were criminals, were led away to be put to death with him. When they came to the place that is called The Skull, they crucified Jesus there with the criminals, one on his right and one on his left. [Then Jesus said, "Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing."] And they cast lots to divide his clothing. And the people stood by, watching; but the leaders scoffed at him, saying, "He saved others; let him save himself if he is the Messiah of God, his chosen one!" The soldiers also mocked him, coming up and offering him sour wine, and saying, "If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!" There was also an inscription over him, "This is the King of the Jews."
One of the criminals who were hanged there kept deriding him 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." He replied, "Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise."