Luke 23:33-43 (CEV)
33 When the soldiers came to the place called “The Skull,” they nailed Jesus to a cross. They also nailed the two criminals to crosses, one on each side of Jesus.
34-35 Jesus said, “Father, forgive these people! They don’t know what they’re doing.”
While the crowd stood there watching Jesus, the soldiers gambled for his clothes. The leaders insulted him by saying, “He saved others. Now he should save himself, if he really is God’s chosen Messiah!”
36 The soldiers made fun of Jesus and brought him some wine. 37 They said, “If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself!”
38 Above him was a sign that said, “This is the King of the Jews.”
39 One of the criminals hanging there also insulted Jesus by saying, “Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and save us!”
40 But the other criminal told the first one off, “Don’t you fear God? Aren’t you getting the same punishment as this man? 41 We got what was coming to us, but he didn’t do anything wrong.” 42 Then he said to Jesus, “Remember me when you come into power!”
43 Jesus replied, “I promise that today you will be with me in paradise.”
this is what it’s come to.
This is where it ends
(or so you think).
as you drive your hatred into me.
You didn’t want to know,
couldn’t hear what I was saying,
see what I was showing you
of God and his ways.
If you’d have done so,
you would have known
what he really wanted,
not what you thought,
or tried to make it.
And so we are here.
At this place of torture,
where you get rid of inconveniences.
I know you don’t understand,
so I won’t hold it against you.
In fact I give you the most powerful thing I have left,
I forgive you,
and I pray to God for you.
I see you deciding who is going to have what
of my belongings.
you want what is mine.
You want my belongings,
yet you never wanted
the truth I brought,
the peace I offered,
the true understanding I showed.
Yet for my clothes you fight
and toss a coin.
You wonder why I don’t save myself.
You don’t realize I am saving you.
The only one who recognises
the truth in me
is the ones who hang alongside me,
the ones whose pain I share.
To those who hear,
“you will share paradise with me”.
This is all I can offer in worship of such a God – my soul, my life, my all
(and no I haven’t lost the plot. This is the last Sunday of the lectionary, where the focus is Christ the King looking to the ultimate return and reign of God. Life comes full circle – and so does God)