Chi Rho Reflection for the Week of October 13, 2013
- Chi Rho Reflection for the Week of October 13, 2013
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As one of the on-going ministries of Chi Rho Press,
here is a selection from our book of daily devotions,
"Living as the Beloved: One Day at a Time," by the
Rev. Dr. Sandra Bochonok.
Please read the Scripture passage and Dr. Bochonok's
meditation. We hope you will be blessed. Thank you
for forwarding this to your friends.
It is never too late for God's mercy
"Over his head they put the charge against him, which read, 'This is Jesus, the King of the Jews.' Then two bandits were crucified with him, one on his right and one on his left. Those who passed by derided him, shaking their heads and saying, 'You who would destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself! If you are the Son of God, come down from the cross.' In the same way the chief priests also, along with the scribes and elders, were mocking him, saying, 'He saved others; he cannot save himself. He is the King of Israel; let him come down from the cross now, and we will believe in him. He trusts in God; let God deliver him now, if he wants to; for he said, "I am God's Son."' The bandits who were crucified with him also taunted him in the same way."
It is never too late to accept God's mercy and forgiveness. Even on our deathbed, we can reconcile with God through Jesus Christ. There is grace and mercy at the foot of the cross as long as we have breath in our bodies.
This powerful scene brings us to Jesus, nailed to the cross with the written charge against him, "THIS IS JESUS, THE KING OF THE JEWS." On each side hangs a crucified criminal. People are rudely hurling crude insults at King Jesus. They mock him. "Hey you, Jesus, come down from the cross if you're God!" The religious leaders join the mob in public ridicule. I find it amazing that even the crucified robbers jeered insults at Jesus as they writhed in pain.
A careful reading of the other Gospels reveals it is never too late to receive God's mercy in our deepest moments of need. One of the jeering robbers becomes strangely drawn to Jesus as they are dying together. The two robbers have a profound conversation with Jesus. "Aren't you the Christ? Save yourself and us!" cried the one. But the other criminal rebuked him and said, "Don't you fear God, 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. . . . Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom" (Luke 23:39-42 NIV). Jesus answered him, "I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise."
It is never too late to receive God's mercy and forgiveness for our sins while we have breath in our bodies. There is no crime, no sin so terrible, that Christ cannot forgive when we approach the cross in repentance. This includes Christ's executors, accusers, betrayers, and tormentors. We can go from hell on earth to paradise. Jesus Christ is the way, the truth, and the door to the kingdom of God.
Jesus, remember me too. Thank you that it is never too late to receive divine mercy and forgiveness. I want to be with you in paradise for eternity. I need you. I need you for living and dying. I need what you did for me on the cross. I need your resurrection hope. Amen.
Grace and peace,
Chi Rho Press
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