Thursday, April 2, 2015

The Remembered One

A piece of music which comes from the Community of Taize has us singing the lyrics, "Jesus, remember me, when You come into Your kingdom.  Jesus, remember me, when You come into Your kingdom."  Simple and powerful.  As it is sung over and over and over, those singing experience the words hanging in the room long after the music has subsided.  Of course, the words bring to mind the repentant thief who died alongside of Jesus outside the gates of the city on a hill of death known as Golgotha.

Two men besides Jesus died on that terrible place.  Unlike Jesus who was innocent of any crimes, or sins, those two who died on either side of Him were convicted criminals whose crimes earned them the punishment of execution on a cross.  One of them joined with the soldiers in the last moments of his life and mocked Jesus calling Him to prove Himself by saving Himself and the two dying with Him.  The other rebuked  his partner in crime and offered words of confession as he said, "...we are getting something that we deserve for our deeds, but this man has done nothing wrong."  (Luke 23:41)  And then turning his words to Jesus he said, "Jesus, remember me, when you come into Your kingdom."

Unlike the blind man who asked to see or the lame man who wanted to walk, the thief on the cross asked for nothing except to be remembered in the Kingdom by Jesus.  He did not seek out the blessings of the Kingdom for himself because he knew himself as one who deserved neither blessings or a Kingdom.  He asked only to be remembered by Jesus in His Kingdom.  He knew he had no share in God's Kingdom and so he asked only that his name be remembered in that holy place by Jesus.  Such would be more than enough.  Such would be enough for it would be more than he deserved.  And, to such as these belongs the Kingdom of God. 

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