LHM Lenten Devotion – March 10, 2014 “A Changed Mind”

 

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Lenten Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries

By Reverend Wayne Palmer

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“A Changed Mind”

March 10, 2014


Lenten devo cover 2014Read Luke 23: 39-43TEXT: “Jesus, remember me when You come into Your kingdom” (see Luke 23:42).

As Jesus hangs on the bitter cross, cruel laughter, mockery and ridicule are flung at Him from all sides: from the crowds, the Jewish leaders, the Roman soldiers, and even the criminals hanging to His right and left. One criminal shouts, “Are You not the Christ? Save Yourself and us!”

That taunt brings a surprising response-a lone voice speaking up in Jesus’ defense. “Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.”

What changed this condemned criminal from mocker to defender? Has he realized he will not come off this cross alive-but in a few hours must stand before God his Judge? Did the quiet, kingly dignity of Jesus’ prayer, “Father, forgiven them” change his mind? One thing is clear; the Holy Spirit has convinced him of his guilt and given him faith that Jesus is the innocent Son of God, who alone can save him from the eternal torments of hell.

Through the eyes of faith the criminal looks beneath the bloody crown of thorns and sees the King of kings, the Savior of the world. Turning to Jesus he pleads, “Jesus, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.”

Our Lord replies “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.” In the midst of His bitter sufferings Jesus receives the reassurance His bloody sacrifice is not in vain. This repentant criminal is just one of a countless multitude who will turn from their sins, trust in Him, and spend eternity with Him in Paradise.

THE PRAYER: Lord Jesus, thank You for assuring the repentant criminal and me of Your gracious forgiveness and for promising us eternal life with You in Paradise. Amen.

Easter Book 2014

 

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