Ever so often I try to look at old or familiar things with new eyes. Recently I looked at the two thieves on the cross and I must admit that they reminded me of the church.
We all remember the two requests.
If you are the Son of God save yourself.
I see nothing at all wrong with this. But along with Judas, we curse and deride this bold thief as an even bigger sinner for saying what he did to Jesus. I’ve heard that confession is good for the soul, and I will put my soul in tip-top shape and admit to you that if I were nailed to a cross beside the Messiah I would have said the same thing.
Facing death, knowing me as I do, I would have pleaded with God to get down from the cross and I would have pleaded even harder for him to get me down too. I would have even gone as far as to tell him if he does not want to save himself then just save me.
I see nothing wrong with what the thief asked.
But the second thief really puts it in perspective. Do you not fear God? We are here because this is our reward for what we did, this man has done nothing wrong.
All of this seems quite noble and we martyr this man for asking Jesus to remember him when He enters His Kingdom. Really sweet!
But if Jesus remembers us what will he remember about us? He simply might remember that we do not fear God, because we look at these stories and that is what they remain for our entire lives.
It is so easy to point out the sins of another person be we never stop long enough to see the sin in ourselves.
I am saying this without reservation and I don’t think I need to take a CADRES poll because I am convinced the point would be missed and we would just end up cussing Peter Wickham again for presenting the facts.
But from where I sit, stand, and kneel it is clear that the average “Christian” does not fear God. And I mean fear in the true sense of the word – I am referring to awe, standing in wonder of God, not being frighten.
There is an excitement that comes along with the Easter Season that should permeate our lives, but I guess that is part of the problem – it’s a seasonal thing and not an everyday thing.
The fact that death has no dominion over life, that the physical death that brings our temporary physical tent to an end is not the end for the believer, the fact that our sins have been forgiven, the fact that if we should somehow fall into sin we need not worry because with a contrite heart we are forgiven, is something to be very excited about.
Those of us who actually find the time to pray might ask God not to lead us into temptation and to forgive our sins. But there are too many of us who sprint past temptation and crash headlong into sin.
My thing is that we cannot be serious about God when there is no distinguishing man between God’s people and His enemies. Do we really fear God?
Nuff of God people drinking “devil soup”, telling you it good for the worms, but getting drunk. God’s people are into illegal drugs, prostitution, pornography, lies, gossip, bickering, infidelity and a long list of sin they enjoy. Meanwhile the world is telling us there is nothing wrong with sin and we take comfort when we hear we have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.
If we truly feared God, like the other thief, we would be seen in Paradise.
I am not a saint – far from; neither am I your judge. I am just looking at this familiar story and fearing God. Take a look, not with your eyes, but your heart.