2346) Making Up for Bad Choices

Luke 23:32-43  —  Two other men, both criminals, were also led out with Jesus 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.”

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     In so many areas of life we have no choice.  Think about it.  You didn’t choose your parents.  You didn’t choose your siblings.  You didn’t choose your race or place of birth.  You did’t choose what century you would be born into.

     It would have been nice if God had let us order life like we order a meal.  “I’ll take good health and a high IQ.  I’ll pass on the music skills, but give me a fast metabolism.”

     Would’ve been nice.  But it didn’t happen.

     But the scales of life were forever tipped when God planted a tree in the Garden of Eden.  When it came to your life on earth, you weren’t given a voice or a vote.  But when it comes to life after death, you were.  In my book that seems like a good deal.

     Think about the thief who repented.  Though we know little about him, we know this: He made some bad mistakes in life.  He chose the wrong crowd, the wrong morals, the wrong behavior.  But would you consider his life a waste?  Is he spending eternity reaping the fruit of all the bad choices he made?  No, just the opposite.  He is enjoying the fruit of the one good choice he made.  In the end all his bad choices were redeemed by a solitary good one.

     You look back over your life and say, “If only . . . if only I could make up for those bad choices.”

     You can.  One good choice for eternity offsets a thousand bad ones on earth.

— Adapted from He Chose the Nails by Max Lucado

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Jesus, remember me.

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Frederick Buechner quote: Jesus, remember me when you come into ...