God is truly beyond my imagination. He loves us so incredibly much. Even when we have not worshiped him. Even when we have not thanked him. Even when we have not acknowledged him. Even when we have denied him time and time again. Even when we have cursed his name. Even when we have been disobedient to his instructions. Every single human in existence other than Jesus is just like 1 of these 2 criminal hanging on the cross next to Jesus. We are all criminals when faced with the holiness of Jesus Christ.
“Two other men, both criminals, were also led out with him to be executed. When they came to the place called the Skull, they crucified him there, along with the criminals—one on his right, the other on his left. Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided up his clothes by casting lots. The people stood watching, and the rulers even sneered at him. They said, “He saved others; let him save himself if he is God’s Messiah, the Chosen One.” The soldiers also came up and mocked him. They offered him wine vinegar and said, “If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself.” There was a written notice above him, which read: this is the king of the jews. One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!” But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.” Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.” Luke 23:32-43
This Good Friday I am so incredibly thankful that Jesus endured such suffering so that I have the promise of paradise. For I too am a criminal saved by the actions of a loving God. Oh how he loves us. Oh how he loves you too. Amen.