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Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Hold On

We all know this passage from Luke 23. It has been used through-out the ages as an example that there is always hope, and it's never too late to accept Christ.
Two other men, both criminals, were also led out with him to be executed. 33 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. 34 Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.
35 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.”
36 The soldiers also came up and mocked him. They offered him wine vinegar 37 and said, “If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself.”
38 There was a written notice above him, which read: this is the king of the jews.
39 One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!”
40 But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? 41 We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.”
42 Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”
43 Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”

The thief who repented is promised salvation and eternity with Christ. Good news right? Did you notice what didn't happen? His misery on the cross continued. He watched Jesus die, and then had his legs broken before he died. We skip over this to focus on eternity but the redeemed man still suffered.

Many times people think that a Christian life is filled with only good things and happiness. It is not Scriptural. I heard someone say that the thief still suffered but his "quality of life" was so much better! As you go through life there will be pain and suffering. Facing it with Christ will bring you through.

Be wise today and always - hold on to Christ through the suffering.