TITLE: Wrong Guess Wrong Answer
DATE: November 22, 2019
Christ is risen. He is risen, indeed.
TEXT: Luke 23: 39-43 - ESV - One of the criminals who were hanged railed at him,[c] saying, “Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us!” 40 But the other rebuked him, saying, “Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? 41 And we indeed justly, for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” 42 And he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” 43 And he said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise.”
I can’t speak for all pastors, but I can tell you I often was surprised by the young of the church. No matter how hard I planned or how well I thought I had anticipated we seldom ended up where I expected ( or wanted.)
Later on, thinking the Easter Bunny had been forgotten, I asked one more question: "When the women came to Jesus' tomb, the stone was rolled away. Who rolled it away?"
You know the answer I got.
It took a good five minutes to get the congregation (and myself) to stop laughing. On the other hand, from that point on I tried to make sure that the Savior and not Peter Cottontail was the center of my Resurrection Sunday messages.
As an aside. And just for the record, in case you’ve never noticed, I seldom use the word Easter. Referring to the high point of the church year, I call it Resurrection Sunday .At any rate, it’s time to get back to the devotion.
The thief on the cross, like most crucified individuals, hoped he would be saved.
But, if you were to have gone up to the foot of the crosses and asked, “Who do you think would be able to perform such a lifesaving rescue, he probably would have made obvious suggestions such as: Pontius Pilate or King Herod. Then the list, very quickly would have gone downhill. Maybe he would have suggested...his cronies or the guys in his Gang. The next suggestions would be even stranger...like the Jerusalem mob. They could turn and call for his release. It wasn’t likely, but it theoretically could have happened.
Like the boy in my children's sermon, the thief was looking in the all wrong places for the Deliverer.
The thief, like the rest of dying humanity, must look to Jesus. The thief, like so many others at Golgotha that day, certainly never thought the dying Jesus would or could deliver anyone from death. How wrong they were. We who have been washed in the blood of the Lamb know that Jesus was doing what nobody else could ever do. Which is why we join with the thief in calling out, 'Jesus, save Yourself and us.' But, unlike the thief who was mocking, we rejoice that Jesus has done just that.
THE PRAYER: Lord Jesus, I give thanks that You have saved Yourself and us. Amen.
The music which introduces and concludes our devotions was written by Guy Baumann. He along with three of his brothers perform on the album: The Baumann Brothers which may be ordered here: http://thebaumannbrothers.com/index.html