Today I have the honor of guest posting at the home of my favorite awards winning reporter. By day she works her magic at the Chicago Sun Times; by night she shows the beauty in the mystery that others are wary of.
We read the story, though we only see it in one of the Gospels. Luke is the only one who mentions the exchange. I often wonder why.
They are referred to as thieves or robbers, but the notes in my Bible tell me otherwise. They tell me that robbery was not a capital offense and more than likely they were insurgents.
Now this starts to make sense.
Here is our Jesus. Our glorious rabble rouser. The King of the Jews stuck between two common, low-life rebels. Here He is, hanging, shamed.
Did they know who Jesus was? Had they heard whispers of what He did, who He claimed to be before they were arrested, tried, and hung on their own wooden branches?
The man on the left yells out to be saved. Mocking. Angry. Abusive.
But the man on the right knows. He knows they all hang there for the same crime but that Jesus is both innocent, yet in a way that not even the disciples understand, guilty. No, not guilty of sin, but Jesus was establishing a new Kingdom. And the act of allowing Himself to hang there, bloodied, beaten, and broken was pushing the Kingdom into reality. He was in labor with the new Kingdom and that repentant “thief” saw it. He saw the way the earth was ready to shake. He recognized that while both were found guilty of insurrection, only Jesus was actually carrying out His plan. It was just in a way that no one imagined or understood.
As the sky darkened and prepared to swallow itself, maybe, just maybe, he saw somewhere the tiniest glimmer that said, “This is not the end. This is just the beginning.” The cracking in of the new Kingdom.
Join me at Emily's to finish.....