Start with Posture of Silence and Solitude (2 minutes)
Read Scripture: Luke 23:32-43
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.”
The Romans executed people publicly as examples of their control and power. . Golgotha or Skull Hill, where Jesus was crucified, was probably a hill outside Jerusalem along a main road. Jesus asked God to forgive all the people who were putting him to death and God answered that prayer by opening up the way of salvation, even to his murderers.
As was recorded, one of the criminals next to Jesus turned to Jesus for forgiveness and he brought him into the kingdom. This man had more faith than the rest of Jesus’ followers.
Questions to ponder:
- What can you learn from the actions of the criminal? What do Jesus’ words to the repentant criminal reveal about conversion? How can we imitate Christ’s example of forgiveness?
- Given this passage, what is the best way for you to pray today?
End with Posture of Silence and Solitude (2 minutes)