Sunday 10 April 2022

Bible Book:

Then he said, 'Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.' He replied, 'Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.' (vs 42-43)

Luke 23:1-49 Sunday 10 April 2022

Psalm 31:9-16


Today is Palm Sunday and churches are recalling the triumphal entry of Jesus in to Jerusalem. In our reflection here we skip forward to see how the presumed triumph will soon turn to apparent tragedy. Today, Jesus passes through cheering crowds, hailed as the hero, the expected one, "Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!" But in a few days’ time, the same Jesus will pass through the same crowd, not in triumph but as a supposed victim on his death-march to the Cross, the condemned one. And the crowd will cry "Crucify!" Yet the supposed victim does not own the apparent tragedy of his situation. Our gospel reading today portrays Jesus giving himself over to be tried and judged and crucified – willingly. It portrays Jesus reaching out in grace and love to the man being crucified alongside him. "Jesus, remember me… today you will be with me in paradise." (vs 42-43) In that encounter, the hill of crucifixion becomes a thin place. The distance between between heaven and earth collapses. Tragedy and triumph challenge each other in the dance that sees darkness and light battling for dominance.

It seems to me that those ‘thin place’ moments and battles between triumph and tragedy, darkness and light, are speaking about the very same thing. They are about those times when we suddenly become aware of the presence of the divine and we know that God is with us. In this is the good news we seek. This is not the good news which will come with the arrival of the Lord’s favour, at the end of the age, or at some random future moment. This is good news for today, the good news for this moment, the good news for now. These words of Jesus, from the Cross remind us that we, like Christ’s companion in death, stand in need of God’s mercy. We ask that, in Christ, God might remember us. In these words we hear the gospel message in its entirety. We see Jesus, the dying Saviour, among the most wretched and pitiful of the world. One companion taunts him and rejects the Saviour’s mercy. The other companion receives salvation, today, because he turns towards the Kingdom. As we walk the way of the Cross in these coming days, we too are challenged to choose. The way of the disciple, the way of life is the way of sacrifice and the Cross. The rich man, thinking that he had provided for himself for years to come, turned away. God said to him, "You fool, this night your life will be demanded of you" (Luke 12.20). The dying criminal knew that he had no one else to whom he could appeal, and Jesus said to him, "Today you will be with me in paradise."

Choose to walk the way of the Cross for in it is the way to life.


To Ponder:

  • What, in your personal life, would be good news for you right now?
  • What, in the life of the world, could be good news right now?
  • Why not sit in quiet, offer a prayer or make a piece of artwork that expresses both of these things and ask Jesus to remember them?
Previous Page Saturday 23 April 2022
Next Page Monday 11 April 2022